It was a dream come true.
An elementary student who was told he would never talk and never have the same opportunities as other kids was crowned May Day king.
A new king and queen take their seats at Blanche Pope Elementary School, but there is something extra special about this May Day court.
“He is very, I will say, a gentleman because he always puts others first before himself,” says May Day Queen Eli Kupahu-Phillips.
The 12 year-old May Day king was diagnosed with autism after he went mute as a toddler.
Chanz Palau is king because his friends and teachers say he has a heart of gold and is fearless when it comes to being true to who he is.
“He is not afraid to be himself,” Eli says.
“I remember the time that I just wanted to be a na kahu, but I became a king,” Chanz says.
Dressed in fabrics inspired by King David Kalakaua, Chanz made his big debut today before the entire student body, friends and families from across the island.
“Yeah, we cried like babies just to see him put it on for the first time,” says his mother Pua Kamahoahoa.
The student who lives in Pearl City commutes to Waimanalo everyday because the teachers, staff and his peers have accepted him and ultimately led to his success in the classroom and in his young life.
“He has exceeded whatever we could’ve imagined,” Kamahoahoa says. “I see it as only the beginning the pivotal point in his life where he can see more of his future.”