COURTESY OF WAIANAE HIGH SCHOOL
About 450 students from Waianae High, Nanakuli High and Intermediate, and Kapolei High attended the third annual Valley of Rainbows youth leadership conference on Feb. 1. The conference helped students set college and career planning goals.
Future leaders flock to Waianae
Go-getters talk about goals at aValley of Rainbows event
Helping students work on college and career goals and continue to dream big dreams, Valley of Rainbows presented its third annual youth leadership conference Feb. 1 at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina Pavilion.
Waianae High School
Ka Leo O Waianae
(The Voice of Waianae)
Lorraine Gershun, John Allen III, Cat Beaver and L. Candy Suiso
85-251 Farrington Highway, Waianae 96792
About 450 students from Waianae High, Nanakuli High and Intermediate, and Kapolei High attended at no cost.
Planning began the day after the previous year's conference was over. "Close to $100,000 is needed to fund this annual project," said Valley of Rainbows President Denice Keliikoa. "Grant writing, meeting with corporate funders, getting approvals from DOE and school administration, confirming hotel space and recruiting motivational speakers are all part of the presentations and planning process.
"We're fortunate to be working with a great group of 23 students from NHIS and WHS who assist the planning committee with the conference logistics, event planning and speaker recruitment," Keliikoa said.
The purpose of the conference is to share the importance of higher education and assist students with college and career planning goals.
The conference was open to high school students in grades 9-12, school administrators, counselors, teachers and those who have not attended the conference in the past.
Sponsors included NFL Charities, Kamehameha Schools, GearUp/UH, Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center, Kapolei Rotary Foundation, Grace Pacific, Tesoro Hawaii, Kosasa family fund, Valley of Rainbows, Searider Productions, the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the City and County of Honolulu.
COURTESY OF WAIANAE HIGH SCHOOL
Mayor Mufi Hannemann was among the guest speakers at the Valley of Rainbows youth leadership conference.
Special guest speakers were Mayor Mufi Hannemann; Celine Nielsen, motivational speaker and president/CEO of Pacific Leadership Partners; comedian and local entertainer Augie T; Anthony Guerrero, vice president of First Hawaiian Bank and surfer; Dustin Shindo, CEO of Hoku Scientific; Dr. Ric Custodio, medical director of Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center; and Bruce Murakami and Justin Cabezas of Safe Teen Driving.
Students who attended the conference listened to special speakers, checked out the college fair and ate breakfast and lunch there. Transportation was provided, and there was a drawing for an Apple iPod at the end of the conference.
As Valley of Rainbows continues to instill the importance of higher education, it also helps Leeward Coast students strive for important goals.
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Trip offers marine, cultural insights
Selected students are going to the Big Island to further their education about aquaculture from Friday until Feb. 22.
"By going on this trip, the students are taking what they learn in this class a step up," marine science teacher Dana Hoppe said.
But before they go on the trip, there are certain requirements and preparations needed.
"We did a lot of worksheets concerning our attitudes and if we are respectful, because if we are not respectful and have a bad attitude, Ms. Hoppe won't take us on the trip," senior Bryson Kiehn explained.
The students also have to learn a variety of chants.
"This year, we are going to start chanting. We learned a chant for entrance, which is Oli Kahea, and also chants for appreciation, admiration and offerings," Kiehn said.
Students will be visiting a variety of institutes, schools and laboratories. In Kona they will go to the Oceanic Institute and Natural Energy Lab.
"We will learn more about marine science. We'll learn about the aquaculture and what the society can do to help the ocean from being depleted," Kiehn said.
After a few days in Kona, the class will go to Hilo to visit fishponds and sites of the native Hawaiians near area hotels.
On their last day, the class will go to the University of Hawaii at Hilo to visit its marine science department.
While on this trip they will not only learn more about marine science, but also see the differences between the Waianae High facility and the facilities in Kona and Hilo.
"The facility here is more confined to the ogo tanks, shrimp and seaweed, and it's much more consistent," Kiehn said. "The facilities on the Big Island are much more bigger and have a wide variety of marine life."
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"How do you show school pride?"
"By going to football games and volleyball games and cheering them on."
"Take care of the school, don't litter and just love the school."
"By doing all my work."
"Joining Student Government, and paddling, and by coming to school on time."
"Participate in sports and other school activities."
"Keeping my head in the books."
"I participate in sports and join school activities."
"Supporting all sports games and by wearing my ID."