Our Islands, Our Future

From Makawao to Wailuku, Haiku to Lahaina, youth across the island are vowing to do their part to do better in school, show appreciation for family and contribute to their community’s welfare. Noa, 13, of Haiku, vows in 2013 to: “Do my homework earlier in the evening.” In Lahaina, 16-year-old Melissa said she’s been doing “really good” in her senior year but the stress and pressure has been overwhelming. “Basically I shouldn’t let the stress and pressure get to me. I should turn these problems into something positive and let them motivate me,” she said.

Kaitlin, 17, of Makawao, said as a high school senior she’s beginning to realize how much she takes her relationships with family for granted. “I really just want to spend time with them before I go to college, letting them know how much I care about them.” Demi, 18, of Wailuku, said she’s had to deal with the differences in personality with four siblings in her home. “We all tend to be really stubborn and never listen to each other,” Demi said. “We have to improve our communication skills and learn not to talk over each other.” Alisha, 17, of Paia, said she wants to show appreciation for her parents in 2013. “I know that my parents sacrifice a lot for me so that I may succeed, so in return I will make sure to do my part by doing well as a student and contributing to my family by doing my chores as well as thanking them for their support and help.”

In regard to contributing to their community, students were drawn to a variety of causes from caring for the homeless to mentoring younger peers. For Demi, she said she would like to engage in service projects such as beach clean-ups and canned food drives. Alisha said she’d like to continue volunteering at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, while Lola, 16, of Kihei, wants to pass on lessons about leadership. “I will mentor younger students at my school and encourage them to expand on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses that may stop them from reaching their full potential.”