Jonathan Lautaha

Where do you currently live?

Orem, UT

What is your current occupation?

SaaS Consultant

What school did you attend while participating in NHD?

Kahuku High School, Kahuku, Hawaii

What college did you attend?

BA History from Stanford University

Who were your teachers?

Mrs. Lisa Lessing, Ms. Lori Ishimura

What years and in what category did you participate in NHD?

2004 - 2006, Display Board, 2007, Group Documentary, 2008, Individual Documentary

What are a few of your favorite or defining moments from your NHD experience?

When my topic was the Greensboro Sit-ins, I interviewed one of the original Greensboro Four. When my topic was the U.S. dropping atom bombs in Japan, I interviewed a Japanese man that lived through that time. These interviews were the most impacting on me because it made me realize that this wasn't just an intellectual exercise, but that real people lived through real tragedies and triumphs. With these topics, it is our responsibility to study, learn and affect our world for the better.

How did NHD help you after high school?

The History Day program helped me learn how to conduct research and how to form an opinion that is substantiated by reliable, historical evidence. This propelled me to study Economic History at Stanford and eventually work as a SaaS consultant for in the Utah tech scene.

In the tech and business world, NHD has helped me know how to distinguish good from better/best sources of knowledge, challenge assumptions, and defend various viewpoints with logic and evidence.

What recognition did you receive for participating in NHD?

I won 1st in my state 2006 - 2008, National Contest 9th Place Group Documentary with a Special Award on Military History 2007.

Did you do anything with your NHD project or research after the contest year?


What has kept you busy since your days as an NHD student? Any particular challenges, stories, or achievements?

My employer allows me to take one day of vacation every year to volunteer for a cause. For the past 2 years, I've used my volunteer days to serve as a judge at our local Regional History Day contest.