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Entrepreneurs Recognized At Junior Achievement Awards Banquet

At an awards banquet held on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2018, at Sanga Hall in Hilo, Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i Island congratulated outstanding young entrepreneurs and awarded $3,500 in scholarships.

The Junior Achievement company program helps high school students develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills by guiding them through the creation of a small business, from product development to marketing and sales. The awards recognize the hard work of the students and advisors from local businesses.

2018 Company of the Year, Branching Out, sponsored by Big Island Toyota. Photo courtesy Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i Island

A familiar face returned home to Hilo to keynote the awards banquet. Jimmy Chan, founder of the Hawaiian Chip Company, is a 1993 Waiākea High School graduate and a Junior Achievement company program alumnus. He shared his entrepreneurial journey with the audience, and spoke about the importance of the lessons he learned through Junior Achievement.

Guest speaker Jimmy Chan of the Hawaiian Chip Company. Photo courtesy Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i Island

The three student companies participating in this cycle were Branching Out sponsored by Big Island Toyota, Young Creations sponsored by HFS Federal Credit Union, and Zenith sponsored by HPM Building Supply. Company members sold their products to friends and family, and to the public at a trade fair held at Prince Kūhiō Plaza in November. Over the course of the cycle, the companies sold over $31,000 in merchandise.

Branching Out was named Outstanding Company Of The Year, and was also recognized for having the highest company sales at $11,652. Zenith was recognized for having the most compelling presence at the trade fair.

Scholarship Recipients (left to right): Albert Zuniga, Keziah Soares, Naya Nguyen, Brittney Williams, Crismel Juan. Photo courtesy Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i Island

There was a tie for Outstanding President – awards were presented to Daniel Briski of Young Creations and Brittney Williams of Branching Out. Outstanding Vice Presidents were also recognized for their contributions to their companies: Kanoe Kama (Branching Out – Finance), Kalsey Nacis Jr. (Branching Out – Production), Naya Nguyen (Branching Out – Marketing), Keziah Soares (Branching Out – Human Resources) and Kira Taylor (Young Creations – Public Relations) received the awards.

The top three salespeople of the year were Tristen Cullio of Branching Out with $2,277 in sales, Brittney Williams of Branching Out with $2,050 and Daniel Briski of Young Creations with $1,063.

Other awards were given to Naya Nguyen of Branching Out for Outstanding Sales Presentation and Brittney Williams of Branching Out for most products sold and highest individual sales at the trade fair.

The Junior Achievement sponsoring businesses instill the value of community service in their own employees and set excellent examples for the participants. Companies collaborated with Hale Ānuenue Restorative Care Center, Operation Christmas, and an effort to send aloha to members of the U.S. military abroad. This year’s Community Service award was given to Young Creations in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the community.

In addition to the awards recognizing achievement in the program, $3,500 in scholarships were awarded to six seniors who excelled both in the program and in other aspects of scholastic life: Crismel Juan of Young Creations (Kea‘au), Naya Nguyen of Branching Out (Waiākea), Princess Fatimah Rasalan of Young Creations (Kea‘au), Keziah Soares of Branching Out (Kea‘au), Brittney Williams of Branching Out (Waiākea), and Alfred Zuniga of Zenith (Kea‘au). This is the 29th year that Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i Island has awarded scholarships to participants.

“We are so proud of our students’ efforts and know that they have bright futures,” said district manager for Junior Achievement of Hawaiʻi Island Jeanine Acia. “The Futures Unlimited Banquet is a great opportunity to celebrate their success. We also must thank our volunteer mentors who give so generously – our program would not be a success if it weren’t for them.”

Junior Achievement is an organization founded in 1919 that fosters work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills in students nationwide. Locally, the organization is powered by members of Hawai‘i Island’s business community who serve as advisors, sponsors, and volunteers. To get Junior Achievement in your K-12 classroom, or to get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, contact District Manager Jeanine Acia at (808) 292-0570 or jahilo@jahawaii.org.

Full Listing of Award Recipients:

100 Percent Attendance Award

  • Branching Out – Callista Cava, Tristen Cullio, Aaryn Hoota, Kanoe Kama, Naya Nguyen, Keziah Soares, Kala Van Veen and Brittney Williams.
  • Young Creations – Wilmer Agpaoa, Jaylen Mae Arzaga, Daniel Briski, Dane Dupre, Francina Fabian, Phoebe Furuli, K-Talyn Keter, Kayla Okazaki, Nathan O’Leary, Katelin Paderan, Isabel Portillo, Princess Fatimah Rasalan, Emma Reed, Kailen Scanlon, Kira Taylor and Emilia Wagner-Prekaski.
  • Zenith – Riezhelle Agpaoa, Shayna Atiz, AJ Care, Mikaela Durch, John Carlo Galamay, Anela Kaneshiro, Iain Klegner, Kamakana Liwai, Mika Odaira, Esse Soyon, Thane Todd and  Shwe Win.

Achiever Award

  • Branching Out – Sydirah Aricayos, Kimokeo Bowden, Callista Cava, Rio Chopot, Tristen Cullio, Anthony Freitas, Alicia Freitas, Aaryn Hoota, Roger Kirkland-Obra, Kysha Rae Paglinawan-Pacheco, Kyla Rae Paglinawan-Pacheco, Carina Shintaku, Hope Surigao and Kala Van Veen.
  • Young Creations – Seth Bello, Sophia Booth, Dane Dupre, Francina Fabian, Bryana Grace, Crismel Juan, K-Talyn Keter, Shyshy Kopura, Hermione Mikami, Kayla Okazaki, Nathan O’Leary, Katelin Paderan, Isabel Portillo, Princess Fatimah Rasalan, Emma Reed and Kailey Scanlon.
  • Zenith – Nicolas Boo Rivera, John Bruce, AJ Care, Anela Kaneshiro, John Kenny, Minji Kim, Iain Klegner, Lorain Likich,e Kamakana Liwai, Mika Odaira, Chaselin Ogata, Leilauna Olson, Esse Soyon and Shwe Win.

$1,000 Sales Club

  • Branching Out – Tristen Cullio and Brittney Williams
  • Young Creations –  Daniel Briski and Rysa Lee Dela Cruz
  • Zenith – Albert Zuniga

$500 to $999 Sales Club

  • Branching Out – Kanoe Kama, Keziah Soares and Hope Surigao.
  • Young Creations – Wilmer Agpaoa, Jaylen Mae Arzaga, Kaylee Marques and Hermione Mikami.
  • Zenith – AJ Care and Iain Klegner.

$300 and $400 Sales Clubs

  • Branching Out – Kimokeo Bowden, Alicia Freitas, Kekoa Gomes, Aaryn Hoota, Keiko Mills, Naya Nguyen and Kala Van Veen.
  • Young Creations – Seth Bello, Phoebe Furuli, Mikyla Nakila, Nathan O’Leary, Princess Fatimah Rasalan, Kailey Scanlon and Titongi Taomia.
  • Zenith – Shayna Atiz, Brianna Diaz-Escobar, Mikaela Durch, Mika Odaira and Fiona Supan.

Executive Award

  • Branching Out – Kekoa Gomes, Kanoe Kama, Kalsey Nacis Jr., Naya Nguyen, Jaden Padamada, Keziah Soares and Brittany Williams.
  • Young Creations – Wilmer Agpaoa, Jaylen Mar Arzaga, Daniel Briski, Maribel Dela Cruz, Phoebe Furuli, Kaylee Marques, Jadon Smith, Titongi Taomia, Kira Taylor and Emilia Wagner-Prekaski.
  • Zenith – Riezhelle Agpaoa, Shayna Atiz, Sabina Boo Rivera, Mikaela Durch, Kyla Fabiani, John Carlo Galamay, Fiona Supan, Thane Todd, Corbin Warmbier and Albert Zuniga.

HCFCU 2018 Scholarship Program to Award 8 Scholarships

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is excited to announce its 2018 Scholarship Program will be accepting applications starting January 2, 2018.

Eight deserving Hawaii Islanders will each receive $2,500, totaling $20,000 given in scholarships, to help support their transition to higher education.  HCFCU has provided scholarships to Hawaii Island students for more than 32 years.

Each scholarship is named after an HCFCU volunteer or manager who made important contributions to the organization.

Five of the scholarships — Peter Hirata Scholarship, Albert Akana Scholarship, Katsumasa Tomita Scholarship, Frank Ishii Scholarship, and Mitsugi Inaba scholarship — are awarded to students based on need, academic achievement, career goals, and extracurricular activities.

The John Y. Iwane scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior that meets all the criteria mentioned above with plans to enter an agriculture-related field of study.

The Michael Asam Scholarship will be awarded to a senior who actively participates in an HCFCU sponsored Student Credit Union as a teller or as a Student Credit Union Board member.

The Yasunori Deguchi Scholarship will be awarded to a post-graduate on Hawaii Island, currently attending college or going back to college.

Eligibility Requirements

HCFCU’s Scholarships are open to our Hawaii Island communities. You do not have to be a member of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union. You must meet at least one of the following requirements to be eligible to apply.

  • Graduating senior from any Island of Hawaii high school and planning to attend a post-secondary college or four-year college during next school year as a full-time student(post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum); or
  • A posthigh school graduate on Hawaii Island who is either currently attending, or going back to, a post-secondary college or four-year college as a full-time student (post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum).

Submission Requirements

The following is required in order to complete your application.

  • Academic Record
  • Non-Academic/Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Career Goals & Educational Plans
  • Financial Need -Verified EFC signed off by counselor. FAFSA will need to be completed. (not required for post-graduates returning to college)

Interested applicants may fill out an application online at HCFCU’s website, www.hicommfcu.com. The online application streamlines the process and allows the applicants to save their work and complete it at a later date.

Applications and all required information must be received by April 2, 2018 to be considered.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, federally insured financial institution owned by its 40,000 members. HCFCU’s branches are located in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala, along with Student Credit Unions in Kealakehe, Kohala and Konawaena High Schools. In 2018, HCFCU will open its first-ever branch in East Hawaii in Hilo. In addition to complete checking and savings services,

HCFCU provides service-minded financial professionals to help facilitate mortgage, land, construction, small business, educational, personal and auto loans; drive up tellers; credit and debit cards with rewards; online and mobile banking; investment services and youth programs. HCFCU also supports numerous Hawaii Island non-profit organizations and community events. Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents.

Hawaii Gets Federal Nod on ESSA Plan, Approval Expected Soon

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) this morning received encouraging feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) following a review of its State plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). USED officials gave the indication for “ultimate approval of the plan” during a call with HIDOE officials.

“We had a great discussion with federal education officials who determined that Hawaii is well on its way for approval once we make minor adjustments to our consolidated plan,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The State plan is a culmination of a community effort and it’s rewarding to see that the USED recognizes Hawaii’s effort and commitment to providing equitable and accessible education.”

ESSA is a reauthorization of the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It replaces the prior reauthorization, most commonly known as No Child Left Behind.

Following the Hawaii State Board of Education approval, the Superintendent and Governor David Ige submitted the signed state’s ESSA plan to USED in September 2017. The Hawaii ESSA plan is designed to support HIDOE’s Strategic Plan objectives, which provides common direction for public schools to empower students in their learning.

“I’m pleased to learn that we are close to getting our ESSA plan approved,” said BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto. “The plan reflects our collective commitment to providing a well-rounded education for all students.”

HIDOE is making the necessary adjustments where further clarification is being sought on student supports that are already in place. Once the non-substantial changes are made, Superintendent Kishimoto will send the State plan to the USED for final approval.

For information on the state plan, visit http://bit.ly/HIDOE-ESSAfaqs.

Click to read

Read the USED Hawaii State plan interim feedback letter here.

Applications Open for 2018-2019 Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), a program of Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL), is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications from students in health care and allied health professions for the 2018-2019 academic year. The deadline to apply online is March 18, 2018.

Awards are provided to students enrolled or enrolling full-time in an accredited college in Hawai‘i or the continental U.S. Benefits include tuition, other school related expenses, and a monthly stipend. Upon completion of the degree and required training and licensure, the recipient shall serve two to four years of full-time employment in designated medically underserved sites in Hawai‘i.

“Our applicants all demonstrate that they are exceptional college students,” asserts NHHSP director Keaulana Holt. “The ideal applicant will also understand the needs of their communities and be willing to apply their training and skills to improve the well-being back home.”

Applications are being accepted from students in clinical psychology, dentistry, dental hygiene, dietetics, marriage & family therapy, nursing, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, public health and social work.

Last years recipients

Nine scholarships were awarded earlier this year. More than 275 scholarship awards have been made in almost 20 different health and behavioral health disciplines since 1991.

“The success of this grow-your-own program is that the scholars and alumni all contribute to improving the health of the lāhui.” POL executive director Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels says proudly. “Even better, they are becoming the leaders in our lāhui. We’re nurturing Hawaiians to serve Hawaiians.”

The entire application process is online. For more information about the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program visit our website at www.nhhsp.org.

Hawaii Supreme Court Holds Oral Argument at Castle High School

The Hawaii Supreme Court held oral argument today at Castle High School with about 200 Oahu high school students in attendance.

Students from Castle, Farrington, McKinley, and Mililani high schools and Le Jardin Academy participated in the Judiciary’s Courts in the Community outreach program. They prepared to watch the oral argument by working through a curriculum developed by the Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center and the Students for Public Outreach and Civic Education of the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law. Attorneys from the Hawaii State Bar Association also volunteered their time to visit classrooms to assist in preparing students for the argument.

The case heard at Castle, CC vs. DD, is a parentage case involving a former same sex married couple. The issue is whether Appellant has a legal parent/child relationship with the child born to Appellee during the marriage.

The goal of Courts in the Community is to enhance students’ understanding of the Judiciary’s role in government and its function in resolving disputes in a democratic society. The Hawaii Supreme Court convenes in schools to hear oral argument in actual cases pending before the court. Since the program’s inception in 2012, 56 schools and about 3,900 students have participated. This is the 11th oral argument under this program.

“Our Courts in the Community program enables students to discover how our judicial system operates in practice,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “Through this experience, we hope that the students realize the judicial process is designed to get to the truth by carefully considering both sides of the case. That understanding of the rule of law is vital to the future of our democracy.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the teachers, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, and the volunteer attorneys who helped make this happen. These invaluable partnerships are what make the program a success,” added Chief Justice Recktenwald.

The Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation generously provided the students with lunches and transportation to and from their schools.

“The Hawaii State Bar Association would like to thank and congratulate the many dedicated teachers, volunteer attorneys, school and court administrators, and especially the students, who together made the Hawaii Courts in the Community Supreme Court session at Castle High School such an overwhelming success,” said Howard Luke, president-elect of the Hawaii State Bar Association. “The attorneys arguing each side of the many unique, challenging issues presented in this case set the stage for a very spirited question-and-answer session following the Court proceedings.

“It was especially encouraging to see how well prepared and thoroughly engaged the students were, as demonstrated by their very thoughtful, relevant questions to the justices. We are grateful for this wonderful opportunity made possible by our Hawaii Supreme Court,” added Luke.

Oral argument was followed by two separate question-and-answer sessions for the students – one with the attorneys and another with justices.

Get on Board Initiative Saves State Approximately $13 Million

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and TransPar have saved the state approximately $13 million annually through the Get on Board student transportation initiative.

Photo Credit: Department of Education

From 2013 to 2017, Hawaii public schools’ student bus transportation system underwent a comprehensive transformation, including the development of new procurement methods and contract models. Another key milestone for the four-year project involved incorporating new technology and the implementation of computerized routing software, GPS mapping and tracking, and the addition of video cameras to all school buses.

“We’ve successfully revamped our school bus transportation system during the four-year pilot program by using industry best practices to deliver economical, efficient and effective student transportation services,” said Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “Through this pilot program, we’ve substantially reduced the annual cost of public school bus transportation services statewide by approximately $13 million.”

What started as a pilot project for 32 Central Oahu schools in 2013, has now grown and expanded statewide. During Phase 2, the program provided student bus transportation to all schools on Oahu, the Big Island and Molokai. Earlier this year, HIDOE successfully implemented the final phase of its Get on Board initiative with the awarding of new contracts on Maui and Kauai for the 2017-18 school year.

Now that the rollout has been completed, HIDOE and TransPar are focused on establishing the systems and process that support continuous improvement and sustainability. By using the technology acquired and process improvements implemented in the Get on Board initiative, the most efficient level of service continues to be provided to students.

“Despite the unexpected bus driver shortage that our bus contractors faced in August 2017, we worked with the schools and contractors to restore bus service as quickly as we could,” said Carlson. “As we look ahead and plan for the future, we’ll continue to assess the system on a daily basis, and improve service, safety and efficiency with TransPar’s guidance. We’re also exploring new ways to make our bus transportation system easier for students and their parents.”

For more information about Get on Board, please click here.

Public Schools Shine During Computer Science Education Week Festivities

Schools across the state joined nationwide celebrations of Computer Science Education with more than 170 events over the past week – from an Hour of Code at Kailua Elementary to a family friendly event hosted by Daniel K. Inouye Elementary that featured coding activities, robot obstacle courses and much more.

Schools across the state joined nationwide celebrations of Computer Science Education.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“It’s wonderful to see students and teachers get excited about Computer Science education, not just during this Computer Science Education Week but year-round,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “We’ve been working on advancing Computer Science curriculum as part of our Strategic Plan. We look forward to presenting our plans before the Board of Education on implementation across cross-disciplinary fields such as Math, Science, STEM, Advanced Placement and Career and Technical Education.”

In support of the Department’s efforts in developing rigorous K-12 computer science standards, Governor David Ige yesterday added his name along with other governors to the Governors Partnership for K-12 Computer Science.

Computer science (CS) education is tied to the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) Strategic Plan and implementation strategies. Earlier this year, HIDOE’s Office of Curriculum Instruction and Student Support met with the Hawaii State Student Council to get their perspective on a CS education rollout effort.  The CS activities rolled out this week across the state is a reflection of the teacher collaboration taking place as well as raising opportunities for students to voice the importance of digital learning.

“We know that the workforce’s top jobs are in need of kids who are educated in computer science,” said Sarah Milianta-Laffin, seventh grade teacher, Ilima Intermediate. “If we’re going to get to that place, we have to get kids excited about it – we have to be their cheerleaders because we’re teaching them about a world that we haven’t been taught about ourselves.”

Many schools are incorporating courses in coding, which has been well received by students.

“Coding is a superpower,” explained Mitchell Togiai, seventh grader at Ilima Intermediate. “In the world that we live in today where technology is everywhere, it’s really important to learn how to code.”

Capping off CS Week

This evening, Superintendent Kishimoto and members of her leadership team will be attending a close out event – Momilani Elementary’s third annual CS for ALL Night. Due to the popularity of the annual festivity, the event is taking place at neighboring Pearl City High School. It will feature hands on activities connected to concepts in computer science such as computing systems, networks and the Internet, as well as algorithms and programming.

Big Island schools participating were:

  • Chiefess Kapiolani El
  • Honaunau El
  • Honokaa El
  • Kahakai El
  • Kealakehe El
  • Kealakehe High
  • Kealakehe Inter
  • Keaau El
  • Keonepoko El
  • Konawaena El
  • Mt. View El
  • Naalehu El
  • Waikoloa El & Middle
  • Waimea El

Approximately 600 Attend ‘Pearl Harbor Youth Day’

In remembrance of the Pearl Harbor attack 76 years ago, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor once again sponsored Pearl Harbor Youth Day, December 9, from 10 am – 2 pm with free admission for students up to age 18. Approximately 600 attended the event. This year’s theme, “Celebrating the Pearl Harbor Child” focused on those who witnessed the attack as children and lived through the war years in Hawaii.

Visitors heard first-person accounts from former Pearl Harbor children such as Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson, award-winning author. The new Mattel American Girl Doll “Nanea Mitchell,” based in part on Ms. Nicholson’s experiences, was featured through a variety of activities that provided insight into the lives of those who were in Hawaii during the 1940s. Two “Nanea” dolls were given away during the day, compliments of American Girl.

Other highlights included a scavenger hunt, swing dancing, the ever popular open cockpits of some of the Museum’s most iconic aircraft, machine shop riveting with “Rosie the Riveter,” lei making, hula lessons, and costumed interpreters representing historic characters.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in the winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Hawaii Public Schools Serve Local Grass-Fed Beef in December

This month, Hawaii public schools are serving locally raised, grass-fed beef in its hamburger patties. Elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak, while high school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches.

High school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches (pictured above), while elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

This is part of the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) effort to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals. It is made possible through a joint partnership with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the State Department of Agriculture, the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council.

“This is a great step forward in providing healthy options in our meal program and working with partners to make these opportunities possible,” said Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. “We appreciate the support of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council. Their partnership allows our students to understand the connection and importance of local agriculture.”

In 2015, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui spearheaded a partnership effort called, “Farm to School” (also known as ‘Aina Pono), with HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center to increase local food in school lunches using products from the local community.

The Farm to School Initiative addresses the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our State school cafeterias. The Initiative also aims to systematically increase state purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with the ‘āina (land) through their food, using products from the local agricultural community.

“This initiative is a major game-changer in the way we are feeding our kids in schools. Along with changing what our keiki eat, we are serving them food made with local, fresh ingredients,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui. “This is a win-win for our students because they eat healthier, and for our farmers and ranchers because we are supporting our local agricultural industry.”

Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which HIDOE has now adopted as its own. In addition to school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, health and food education, ‘Aina Pono has expanded to include test kitchens, meal programs, menu planning and efforts to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals.

Tomorrow: Kona Choral Society Youth Choruses – “Let Your Light Shine”

The Kona Choral Society Youth Choruses invites the public to a free concert tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 8th at 5:30 p.m.

Come enjoy the voices of three youth choruses as they present “Let Your Light Shine.”

Children from grades K-12 join together for this festive concert under the direction of Wendy Buzby, Youth Director.

Hale Halawai is located at 75-5760 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona.

Big Island Robotics Team Wins Sportsmanship Award at 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Championships

Na Paniolo, a robotics team from Kohala High, took home the Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship.

Na Paniolo, a robotics team from Kohala High, took home the Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship, photo credit: Art Kimura

Robotics teams from Sacred Hearts Academy and Pearl City High School won their respective competition “Excellence Awards” at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championships, qualifying both to participate in the 2018 VEX World Championships to be held next April in Louisville, Kentucky. Seventy-nine teams from Hawaii, California and China participated in the weekend tournament sponsored by the Hawaiian Electric Companies and Okinawa Enetech with the support of the Engineers’ Council – University of Hawaii and Hawaii Space Grant Consortium.

The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX Championships, and is presented to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high quality VEX robotics program.

In the VEX IQ Championships comprised of student teams in grades 3-8, the all-girl Sacred Hearts Academy team 2437A entered the finals with their sister team 2437B as the top seeded alliance. Ultimately, team 2437A took home the “Robot Skills Champion Award” and won the “Excellence Award.” According to organizers, team 2437A’s skills score has them ranked fourth in the world after the tournament.

In the VEX VRC Championship comprised of middle and high school students, Pearl City High School’s team 4142A earned the “Design Award” for their organized and professional approach to the design process, project and time management, and team organization, which are all program elements that helped them win the “Excellence Award.” This is the second consecutive year that Pearl City High School qualified for the VEX Worlds through their win at the Pan Pacific VEX.

Other top awards were handed to the Kailua-based Huakailani School for Girls and an independent team (Phoenixbots) from Mililani, which together earned the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX IQ Teamwork Champion Award for their two-team alliance.

A three-team alliance of Molokai High School, Waialua High & Intermediate School and the Rolling Robots from Rolling Hills Estates, California was named the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX VRC Tournament Champions.

Full results of the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship can be found at www.robotevents.com.

6-Year-Old Wins Jamba Juice for a Year

Kolten Wong and 6-year-old Matyx Camero.

A 6-year-old boy from Hilo won Jamba Juice drinks for a year at the Hilo homecoming for Major League Baseball player Kolten Wong on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Jamba Juice, located at the Prince Kuhio Shopping Plaza in Hilo, hosted the meet-and-greet for the star, a Hilo native, from 7:30 to 9 a.m., where fans got chances to take pictures, get autographs and talk with Wong.

At the event, Jamba Juice gave out free drinks and coupons to patrons, as well as offering one lucky customer a chance to win Jamba Juice for a year.

The winner of Jamba Juice for a year, was 6-year-old Matyx Camero of Hilo.

Wong graduated from Kamehameha High School on Hawai‘i Island, and also attended and played ball for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Rainbow Warriors. He has been playing Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2013.

This past season Kolten batted .285 his highest batting average in the big leagues.

Hawai‘i Island High School Students Attend Construction & Career Day

Big Island high school students had the opportunity to get firsthand experience working with heavy equipment that is used in construction of road projects on the Island of Hawaiʻi at the annual Hawaiʻi Construction and Career Day held at the Hilo Civic Center on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

The nonprofit event was intended to provide high school students an insight into career opportunities available in the multi-faceted construction industry.

The event offered high school students exposure in two areas: Heavy Equipment, in which students were able to operate heavy construction equipment, and the Educational Exhibits and Trades area, which consisted of displays from construction companies, engineering firms, government agencies, educational institutions and trade associations.

The students were able to learn about career opportunities and participate in interactive displays that involved the students in fun and challenging games.

Hawaiʻi Construction and Career Days mission is to “provide Hawaiʻi’s youth with an insight into career opportunities available in the multi-faceted construction industry.”

This event was sponsored in part by the HDOT, trade and labor organizations, private construction companies, corporate sponsors and many more.

Former Charter School Principal Charged with Theft

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that Laara Allbrett was charged yesterday by way of felony information with four counts of Theft in the Second Degree, a class C felony punishable by up to five years jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Allbrett, 64, is the former principal of the Halau Lokahi public charter school, a Native Hawaiian-focused charter school whose recurring financial difficulties led to the revocation of its charter by the State Public Charter School Commission on March 30, 2015.

The felony information alleges that Allbrett committed theft by deception during her tenure as the principal of Halau Lokahi. A felony information is merely an allegation of criminal wrongdoing against Allbrett, and she is presumed innocent until found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt by a judge or jury.

A copy of the charging document is attached.

Click to read full document

Hawaiʻi Island Sixth Graders Make History

More than 500 Hawaiʻi Island sixth graders made history during the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s free STEM program, the Barnstorming Tour, last week.

Barnstorming Tour photos of a session at Waiakea Intermediate School. PC Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

For two-weeks the Barnstorming Team traveled across Hawaiʻi island teaching sixth-graders from Hilo, Pāhoa and Pāhala the science behind aviation.

“Barnstorming” refers to a style of stunt piloting that was performed in the 1920s to showcase pilots’ skills and the sturdiness of the planes they flew.

The Barnstorming Tour was developed in 2008 by museum staff with educators and science advisors from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Since its inception, the program has reached over 26,000 sixth graders in their classrooms on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi and now Hawaiʻi Island.

The 90-minute curriculum uses hands-on activities that incorporate all elements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to help students understand the scientific principles of flight, as well as introduce them to aviation and aeronautic engineering as a viable career.

“It was an amazing education experience for the students and I cannot say enough good things about this program,” said Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts & Science Teacher Charlotte Romo. “As a teacher, I appreciate the level of organization and team work, it was perfectly orchestrated!”

“Students in this area never get opportunities like this,” said Pāhoa Elementary Teacher Channa Uyetake. “You guys (Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor) coming here is an educational experience we would have never dreamed of.”

The Barnstorming Team conducted 90-minute sessions at Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts & Science; Pāhoa Intermediate; Ka’u High & Pāhala Elementary; Ernest Bowen DeSilva; and Waiakea Intermediate, recipient of two separate visits.

Gayle Kamei, STEM Coordinator at Waiakea Intermediate said, “The fun and excitement of taking controls of a flight simulator and experiencing the miracle of flight by controlling a wing in a wind tunnel just doesn’t happen too often in a child’s life. Our sixth graders are actually learning the Laws of Physics first hand. What a unique learning experience for them.”

Costs incurred to bring the Barnstorming Tour and equipment to Hawaiʻi Island was underwritten by a $5,000 grant from Boeing.

Schools interested in having the Museum bring the free Barnstorming Tour to their classrooms should contact nick.kann@pacificaviationmuseum.org or call 808-441-1001.

Hawaii Awarded $2.25 Million for Youth Disability Workforce Development

Hawaii Youth At Work! Program Expands to Year Around

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) was awarded $2.25 million in federal funds to help prepare youth with disabilities to enter the workforce or post-secondary education. The funding enables Hawaii Youth At Work! summer participants to obtain paid work experience during the year, coupled with employment preparation activities.

“The summer program is a resounding success for the youth and it is usually their first paid job,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “We are proud to help expand these opportunities for youth with disabilities to contribute their skills and talents to Hawaii’s workforce.”

The program is a collaboration between the Department of Human Services (DHS) and DLIR. DHS’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division, and Social Services Division counselors and staff work with DLIR workforce staff to place participants in temporary jobs with the State and Counties.

“Despite their ability to occupy a variety of jobs, people with disabilities only account for 20 percent of the workforce, have more than double the unemployment rate compared to the general population and continue to face barriers finding work,” stated DHS Director Pankaj Bhanot. “We’re thrilled to expand this program so these young people have greater opportunity to engage in the workforce and prepare for meaningful employment.”

In 2016, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provided 153 youth with disabilities paid work experience in State and County offices on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii. Youth were paid $10.00 an hour and worked up to twenty hours per week during the summer months. SYEP 2017 expanded referrals to include youth participants from the DHS’s Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division and Social Services Division in addition to VR. 125 participants were placed in State and City offices on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii.

The funding will strengthen collaborations with businesses and workforce partners to increase the number of youth with disabilities entering career pathways and accessing workforce services. The grant provides funding for services in the Counites of Hawaii and Maui as well as on Oahu. In addition to DHS, key partners include the University of Hawaii Center on Disability Studies, Department of Education, and American Job Centers.

DLIR previously received $2,923,674 in 2011 and $2,500,000 in 2015 in Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) funds to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. DEI funds help refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful, and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include: increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers (AJC); training front-line AJC and partner staff; and increasing partnerships with businesses that are critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  TDD/TTY Dial 711 then ask for (808) 586-8866

Hawaii State Department of Health Leads Oral Health Screening Initiative for Every Head Start and Early Head Start Student

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with the Hawaii Children’s Action Network, Head Start Collaboration Office, and Hawaii Head Start and Early Head Start programs, is conducting a statewide oral health screening project, beginning this fall. The project, which focuses on Hawaii keiki who are most at risk for cavities, builds upon the foundation set by the DOH’s Hawaii Smiles statewide third-grade screening project two years ago. The current project will look at younger children and include an oral health screening for every child enrolled in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs.The first screening is scheduled at the Parents and Children Together (PACT) headquarters at The Towers at Kuhio Park on Tuesday, Oct. 17, beginning at 10 am. Altogether, more than 2,970 children at more than 100 Head Start and Early Head Start sites statewide will have a dental screening in this school year. The health department will use this data on the oral health of these young children to inform the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and develop policies and programs to improve the oral health of children across Hawaii.

The Hawaii Smiles statewide screening team is composed of dentists and dental hygienists from the public and private sectors who will evaluate the extent of cavities in these children, provide oral health educational materials for parents and teachers, and offer recommendations for follow-up dental care.

“This project will allow us to better understand the patterns that surround dental decay in families and communities in our state,” said Dr. Gavin Uchida, DOH dental director. “On a community level, we know we must all do much more to improve the oral health of the residents of our state, and this information is foundational in helping us create the smartest, most effective plans for positive change.”

Previously, DOH issued the 2015/2016 Hawaii Smiles report, which validated that Hawaii’s third grade children have the highest prevalence of tooth decay in the nation. The baseline results were based on data collected from more than 3,000 third grade students in 67 public elementary schools during the 2014-2015 school year.

The findings from the Hawaii Smiles report were disappointing, but not surprising:

  • 71 percent of third graders in Hawaii have tooth decay, which is higher than the national average of 52 percent;
  • 22 percent of third graders have untreated tooth decay, indicating they are not receiving dental care;
  • About 7 percent of third graders are in need of urgent dental care because of pain or infection; and
  • There are significant oral health disparities by income as well as by race/ethnicity among third grade students in Hawaii.

“We are grateful that the HDS Foundation is being proactive and funding early solutions to Hawaii’s oral health problems,” said Deborah Zysman, executive director of the Hawaii Children’s Action Network. “These problems are often preventable when addressed in early childhood through screening, public education and outreach, and public policy. We are excited for the opportunity to make a difference in the health of Hawaii children.”

As part of the outreach efforts, parents and teachers will receive oral health educational materials and classroom supplies to reinforce the importance of good oral health to children.

The Hawaii Smiles report recommended community-based prevention programs that focus on oral health promotion and prevention services in early childhood programs to reach children at a younger age. The Early Head Start and Head Start programs were identified because of their extensive reach to children from birth to five years old.

“While this project is organized by the Department of Health, it actually is a growing coalition of local and national community partners who are taking action,” said Dr. Uchida. “We’re seeing the result of partnerships that start with caring individuals and small community groups, and extends to local businesses and associations, and even to national leadership at the CDC. A lot of people are now coming together to address the oral health problems we’re seeing in Hawaii, and this current project is just the beginning of good things to come.“

“We’re pleased to be able to continue our support for the Hawaii Smiles project,” said

Mark Yamakawa, president and CEO of Hawaii Dental Service (HDS). “Prevention is the key to good oral health especially for our young children, and we appreciate the collaborative effort to tackle this important issue in our state.”

The CDC awarded the DOH a $1.1 million grant to rebuild its oral health program, a portion of which is being used for these oral health screenings for 1,450 children at 50 Head Start and Early Head Start sites throughout the state.

The HDS Foundation gave a $45,000 grant to the Hawaii Children’s Action Network, which is helping to coordinate the logistics of this project, to expand the outreach efforts to an additional 59 sites and to conduct dental screenings for an additional 1,520 infants, toddlers and preschoolers for a total of more than 2,970 children.

Children will be referred to their dentist for follow-up care.  If they do not have a dentist, the DOH and the Head Start and Early Head Start programs will refer families to Community Case Management Corp., which assists Medicaid beneficiaries with finding dentists for treatment.

Progress Update on School Bus Driver Shortages on Maui and Kauai

Two consolidated bus routes on Maui were reinstated and more anticipated in coming weeks. Photo DOE

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) reports that progress is being made by school bus contractors to address the current shortage of Commercial Driver Licensed (CDL) drivers on Maui and Kauai qualified to operate school buses. Here are the latest updates:

  • Two previously consolidated bus routes on Maui have been restored to normal service times at Maui High School and Maui Waena Intermediate School.
    • Route GR14A makes a single morning and afternoon run from the Hale Kihei Housing and Makai Heights Subdivisions in Kihei to and from Maui High School.
    • Route GR18 A/B makes two morning and afternoon runs to and from Maui Waena Intermediate School. The first serves the Kahului area east of Puunene Avenue from Puukani Street to Kaahumanu Avenue, and north of West Kauai Street to Kaahumanu Avenue. The second run serves the Sands Hills, Puuone Tract, Kanaloa Houselots Subdivision and Paukukalo areas.
  • Kauai’s shortage of qualified school bus drivers continues to remain at seven. School bus routes have been consolidated to adjust to the staffing shortages and all schools are still being serviced. Driver candidates are currently in the licensing process and routes will be restored as they enter service.
  • Interested CDL drivers should contact the Student Transportation Services Branch at (808) 586-0170. Interested drivers without a CDL are also being sought. The CDL training and testing process is open and takes approximately three weeks to complete.

For school bus route questions or concerns, please call the Get On Board Hotline at (808) 586-0161 on Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pacific Aviation Museum Providing Free STEM Program to Hawaii Island Schools

The FREE STEM outreach education program, allowing students to explore science through flight, will be presented to 6th graders in Hilo, Pahoa and Pahala.

More than 500 sixth graders on Hawaii Island will learn about the science behind aviation when members of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s Barnstorming Program travel to Hawaii Island for the first time, October 16-27, 2017. The term “barnstorming” refers to a style of stunt piloting that was performed in the 1920’s to showcase pilots’ skills and the sturdiness of the planes they flew.

Barnstorming photos of a previous session at Benjamin Parker Elementary School on Oahu. Photo credit: Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Pacific Aviation Museum’s Barnstorming Program was developed in 2008 by staff at the Museum in collaboration with educators and science advisors from University of Hawaii at Manoa, and since its inception, has reached over 26,000 sixth graders in their classrooms on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. The 90-minute curriculum is aligned to the Hawaii State Content Standards for Grade 6, and uses:

  • Table-top experiments where students are introduced to the two most important concepts in the science of aviation – Newton’s Third Law of Motion and Bernoulli’s Principle;
  • A portable wind tunnel that allows students to manipulate an airfoil inside a working wind tunnel via remote control. Students see the effects that airflow have on a wing, and how different velocities of the airstream can change a wing’s reaction to their controller inputs. Students discover how scientists and engineers use wind tunnels to design and test objects people use daily, from aircraft and cars, to homes; and
  • A P-40 flight simulator that serves as the culmination of the Barnstorming experience, where after learning the basic concepts through table-top experiments and the wind tunnel, students take the controls of a flying machine. The flight simulator allows students to operate the control surfaces (rudder, elevators and ailerons) that they learned about in the initial presentation, and decide what stick or pedal inputs they will need to obtain their desired movements. Student aviators fly the P-40 through several scenarios, including takeoff, landing, basic control familiarization, as well as pursuit and dogfight maneuvers.

Costs incurred to bring the program and equipment to Hawaii Island is being underwritten by a $5,000 grant from Boeing.

“Aviation plays such an important role in our everyday lives, from an economic and social point of view, to protecting our nation from harm,” said Shauna Tonkin, Director of Education, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. “Our Barnstorming Program is designed to incorporate all elements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through interesting and hands-on activities that not only help students understand the scientific principles of flight, but also introduces aviation and aeronautical engineering as a viable career. We hope to continue taking this program on the road to students throughout Hawaii. Our ability to do this is based on the generous support we receive from businesses and foundations, such as Boeing.”

Beginning October 16, Pacific Aviation Museum will bring its Barnstorming program to the following schools:

October 16: Ernest Bowen DeSilva Elementary, Hilo
October 17-19: Waiakea Intermediate, Hilo
October 20: Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science, Pahoa
October 23: Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary, Pahala
October 24: Pahoa Intermediate, Pahoa
October 25-27: Waiakea Intermediate, Hilo

On the evening of October 23, Pacific Aviation Museum will also host a free community outreach event at Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary School called Discover Your Future in Aviation (DYFA). Mirrored after the Museum’s annual DYFA on Oahu, the event is designed as an interactive fair that provides youth with information and resources related to the aviation and aerospace industries.

With a special emphasis on young women and underserved populations, DYFA’s goal is to generate interest and present STEM career opportunities by having exhibitors in the field of aerospace and aviation at the event, coupled with interactive STEM-related activities. The event will also feature keynote speaker Z. Nagin Cox, a NASA Mars Rover engineer who has held leadership and system engineering positions on interplanetary robotic missions including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Kepler exoplanet hunter, InSight, and the Mars Curiosity Rover. In 2015, Asteroid 14061 was named after her by its discoverers.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.

Bank of Hawaii Foundation Grants $100,000 for PBS Hawai’i’s HIKI NO

Bank of Hawaii Foundation, an early backer of PBS Hawai‘i’s award-winning HIKI NŌ statewide student digital media initiative, has renewed its support with a $100,000 grant.

HIKI NŌ, primarily an education program, encourages students to hone progressive “real world” learning skills. These skills are showcased in a weekly on-air and online newscast, in which students meet national PBS professional journalism standards.

“Kudos to Leslie Wilcox and PBS Hawai‘i for championing HIKI NŌ and helping students from all islands to develop skills in a digital world,” said Peter S. Ho, Chairman, President and CEO of Bank of Hawaii. “HIKI NŌ students tell the stories of their communities with a voice and perspective that is powerful and authentic.”

Bank of Hawaii Foundation’s support dates back to the launch of HIKI NŌ in 2011. Since then, HIKI NŌ schools have become digital media stand-outs at local and national competitions.

At no cost to schools, HIKI NŌ serves 90 public, private and charter schools across the Islands, middle and high schools. Under the guidance of teachers, participating students create their stories of their communities after school hours. The Hawaii State Department of Education is considering making HIKI NŌ an official elective course in public schools.

Says PBS Hawai‘i Director of Learning Initiatives Robert Pennybacker: “Bank of Hawaii Foundation has helped open career paths to students by enabling them to gain the ability to problem-solve, persevere and meet deadlines with quality digital media work.”