APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation) Essay Contest
Essay Question – Why is
sustainability important to you,
Hawaii, and APEC?
I struggled to write the essay
because I found I really did not
know enough about
Unfortunately, I did not win the
essay contest, but it sparked a
new journey that would be far
Later that year, I participated in a conference
called SSC (Seconday Student Conference).
At the Secondary Student conference, students
formulated resolutions to address and improve
issues facing Hawaii’s high school students.
SSC was held first
with meetings on
each of the islands.
then met on Oahu
for a three day long
conference at the
I crafted a resolution
education into the public
high school science
The resolution garnered
support from over 70% of
the conference delegates
and was selected as one
of the top 10 resolutions.
After the completion of SSC, members of the DOE
questioned Resolution 25 and said that “it was
already being done.”
The progress of the resolution stopped for
approximately 4 months until I participated in a
community service garden day project at a local
At this project, I met
Director of the Hawaii
Island School Garden
I talked with Nancy about
my project and she
nominated me to be a
SHYLI (Sustainable Hawaii
Soon after, I met Marianne
Meeting and speaking
with Marianne instantly
rekindled the spark that
was slowly dying because
of the negative feedback I
was receiving from
members of the DOE and
In July 2012, I attended
the Youth Leadership
Summit for Sustainable
My focus was Sustainable
Education. In addition to
getting much needed support
and encouragement for my
ideas and resolution, I met
inspiring individuals and
experienced important self-
Josue, Marianne, Marsha, and Nane helped
me to think outside of the box and find new
ways to attract the attention of the
The summit was eye-
opening and reinforced how
important sustainability is,
especially to island
I was especially moved after
watching a video and
learning about the story of
the Wampanoag language.
I left the summit motivated
and confident, and with a
renewed sense of
For my Senior Project, I decided to continue my
sustainable education efforts.
My first goal was to create and sustain an organic
school garden in the agricultural area of my high
My mentor for this project was Nancy Redfeather.
I also received help and support from our
agriculture teacher, Maverick Kawamoto.
The second, and much more challenging, goal of my
Senior Project would be working on passing my
At the start of the process I had a few ideas, but one
promising phone call changed it all.
This phone call was from Representative Denny
Coffman who had heard about my resolution and was
interested in working with me.
With the help of Rep.
Coffman, Marianne and
Nancy Redfeather, I
forged ahead with one
of the most challenging
things I had ever
After meeting Representative Coffman, our
first plan of action was to submit my
resolution to the LRB (Legislative Reference
The LRB is a non-partisan group that helped
to fix the wording of my resolution and to
make sure that my goals were clearly stated.
I worked with the LRB where my resolution
was revised three times. Although I had to
compromise with some language, the end
product was acceptable to me.
The next step was to get a hearing in both the
House and Senate Education Committees.
Representative Coffman brought up the
resolution and multiple senators and
representatives signed onto the resolution. These
members included Senator Solomon, Senator
Green, Representative Takumi, and Representative
Coffman’s help, there is
no way I would have been
able to proceed any
further past this point.
From this point forward, my resolution would
now be known as HCR 178 and SCR 192.
HCR 178 stands for House Concurrent
SCR 192 stands for Senate Concurrent
For now, the wording of each was exactly the
same as each of the concurrent resolutions as
I had to wait to hear if they would receive a
legislative hearing in either the House of
Representatives or the Senate.
On March 21, 2013, I received
notification that my resolution
was scheduled to be heard by
committees in both the House
of Representatives and the
The Senate Committee on
Education and the Senate
Committee on Water and Land
would be hearing SCR 192 at
The House Committee on
Education would be hearing
HCR 178 at 2:00 p.m.
After getting the hearing notices, I had a very
short time frame to obtain support for the
resolution. I spent the Spring Break of my senior
year in high school preparing for the upcoming
When submitting testimony, the legislature gives
an approximate 24-48 hour window to submit
online testimony. Physical testimony is also
allowed at each of the hearings. Marianne’s and
Nancy’s assistance was critical at this juncture.
With the help of Representative Coffman, Nancy
and I flew to Oahu (where the State Capitol is
located) so I could personally testify at the
March 25, 2013
During the afternoon I participated in both
hearings, where I testified in support of my
The resolution was passed by both committees.
Each of the committees made amendments to the
The Senate Committee created SCR 192 SD1. SD1
stands for Senate Draft 1.
The House Committee created HCR 178 HD1. HD1
stands for House Draft 1.
The Senate Concurrent Resolution was heard by the
Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
The final step of the resolution was to have both HCR
178 HD1 and SCR 192 SD1 go through a process
During conference, the drafts are combined so that
the Senate and the House of Representatives agree on
one version. This version become HCR 178 HD 1 SD1.
HCR 178 HD 1 SD 1 was sent down to both the Senate
Floor and the House Floor to receive a final vote by all
of the Senators and Representatives.
On April 26, 2013 I received notification that the
resolution had passed.
The effect of the resolution is that the Board of
Education’s Sustainability Policy No. 6710 was
amended to identify ways to incorporate
sustainability education and environmental
stewardship at the classroom level.
the resolution process, I
had cleared and tilled the
slot of land I was given
and started to create the
With Nancy Redfeather’s
help, I created two long
beds which contained
lettuce, kale, broccoli,
eggplant, carrots, and
January 19, 2013
Each of the five SHYLI delegates presented their
projects and their process since arriving home
from Martha’s Vineyard.
Throughout the process
I realized how important
it is to be sustainable.
It also became relative
that getting others
involved is even more
Without the help of
others, neither the
resolution nor the
garden project would
have been a success.
Preparing our students to be good environmental citizens is some of the
most important work any of us can do. It is for our children, and our
children’s children, and generations yet to come. – Education Secretary
This “power or ability to lead” others becomes very important as
some people lead with good objectives while others lead with the
opposite in mind.
It is important when leading to not stray far from your
“It’s not about me, it’s about we.”
A true leader has the ability make everyone around them better.
True leaders understand the capacity to turn visions into reality.
The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people,
but to elicit it, for greatness is already there. - John
The power or ability to lead other