APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation) Essay Contest
Essay Question – Why is
sustainability important to you,
Hawaii, and APEC?
I struggled to write the essay –
didn’t understand enough
Unfortunately, I did not win the
essay contest, but it sparked a
new journey that would be far
Later on that year, I participated in a conference
called SSC (Seconday Student Conference).
At the Secondary Student conference, students
formulated resolutions to improve high school
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
My resolution garnered
support from over 70% of
the conference delegates
and was selected was 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
the Kaiser Making Waves garden day at Kahakai
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
Last year, I attended
the 2012 Youth
Leadership Summit for
My focus was Sustainable
Education. I entered the
summit trying to find a
way to garner more
support and bring my
resolution back to life
Josue, Marianne, Marsha, and Nane helped
me to think outside of the box and find new
ways to attract the attention of the
Legislature once again.
The summit was eye-opening
and it allowed me to realize
how important sustainability is
and why it is such a keen
focus in island communities.
My entire mindset changed
last year after watching a
video and learning about the
story of the Wampanoag
language. It helped me to
realize how broad the term
By the end of the summit, I
had a changed perception and
a plan to gain support from
other students and teachers.
At the start of my senior year of high school I had
to pick a topic for my senior project. It was an
easy choice – Sustainable Education.
My goal was to create and sustain an organic
school garden in the agriculture 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 focus of my Senior Project would be
working on passing my resolution.
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 to pass the resolution.
Marianne became my
second mentor as she
helped me spearhead
the second focus of
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
an email from Representative
Coffman’s secretary Napua that
my resolution was going to be
heard by committees in both
the House of Representative and
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, my job was to
ask everyone I knew to submit testimony in
support of my resolution. I spent my bring break
garnering support for the resolution.
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.
Fortunately, with the help of Representative
Coffman, I along with my mentor, Nancy
Redfeather, flew to the state capitol to personally
testify at the hearings.
March 25, 2013
During the afternoon I participated in both
hearings, where I testified in support of my
Both of the hearings were a success as each of the
committees passed my resolution.
Each of the committees made amendments to my
The committees in the Senate created SCR 192 SD1. SD 1
stands for Senate Draft 1.
The committee in the House created HCR 178 HD 1. HD 1
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.
I received an email on April 26, 2013, stating that my
resolution had passed.
The effect of the resolution is that the Board of
Education’s current sustainability policy No. 6710 was
amended to indentify 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 my
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.
Through this 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.