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COHORT TWO

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Kevin Argueta, Juan Espinal & Karina Hernandez

MAESTROS VIBE

We are Maestros Vibe! We make school cool to talk about weekly through our podcast. We have been podcasting since 2019. We host esteemed guests that include other teacher leaders, legislators, community members, and other educational leaders. Maestros Vibe  We are currently working on podcasting. We are fueled by making schools cool to talk about. We had teachers, administrators, and students in our last season. We continue to elevate community voices to share stories about our public schools.When we think about the future, we want to impact a wider range of audience and expand our reach. Our hope is to continue to bring on great guests that elevate voices around education. This has the potential to bring our community together and strengthen relationships across islands. We would love to bring the podcast live to in person events and host events that center on education.

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Adele Balderston

88 BLOCK WALKS

I am a social practice artist, geographer and urban planner from Windward O’ahu. I’m a settler, the child of an unwed teenage mother raised in a multigenerational-multiracial household in Kailua. I attended public school until I dropped out in tenth grade, started working at 15, and put myself through Windward Community College back when it was only $25 a credit. Later I transferred to NYU where I earned a BA in new media communication and went on to earn an MA in Geography and GIS from Hunter College (CUNY). I worked at NYC City Planning under the Bloomberg administration, and ultimately priced myself out of my own neighborhood as a second-wave gentrifier. I moved home to O’ahu in 2013 and met a community of artists in Kaka’ako where the perfect storm of gentrification and settler-colonialism was already generating tidal waves of luxury development and rampant houselessness. I wrote my MA thesis about this process in Kaka’ako, and started leading tours under the moniker "88 Block Walks" to educate people about the neighborhood’s history and inspire them to become more involved in shaping its future. 88 Block Walks  88 Blocks is a venture at the intersection of geography, art and activism. It’s a series of walking tours, performances, installations and digital tools created to raise awareness of socio-spatial inequality and advocate for community agency. Deeply rooted in the Situationist movement of mid century Paris and fueled by a burning desire to ease the pain of gentrification (if not end it altogether), this work engages spectacle, collective memory and time travel in order to cultivate empathy and inspire civic engagement. Every experience I create is an experiment in connecting people to places, incorporating a combination of archival research, personal narrative, counter-mapping and interaction with urban environments. As a non-native person from a colonized place, my practice also considers inherent conflicts between traditional spatial ideologies and urban realities, and the ways competing ideas of place complicate notions of home, belonging and identity. I hope the tools and experiences I create help individuals and communities to know where they are—to become aware of the layers of meaning that comprise their mental and physical geographies—and empower them to build more equitable places.

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Elena Farden

PASEFIKA FASHION COUNCIL

Iʻm not fashionable, but Iʻm obsessed with indigenous fashion advocacy. So much so, in 2018 I wrote legislation that became a Hawaiʻi Senate Resolution No. 164 calling for a Native Hawaiian intellectual property task force to develop a sui generis system to recognize and protect cultural IP.  Since then, Iʻve learned legislation is one way, but a bigger and more impactful way is always community. My excitement in participating in SIIP is to better co-vision Pasefika Fashion Council with community. PASEFIKA FASHION COUNCIL Pasifika Fashion Council aims to serve as a central movement to address decolonizing design so Pasifika creatives can (re) dress the world. Educational resources, training, and support for Pasifika designers are imperative to protect intellectual property and misuse/misinterpretation of our cultural symbols outside of the context of which those designs/stories were born. Designers are wild creatives at heart. They want to design. Protecting their designs may be an afterthought until it is taken and re-interpreted for them and done so without them.  When this happens, our designers and creatives need an advocacy space and place for their voice.

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Kamaka’aina (Kamaka) Seipp

THE COLOR GARDEN PROJECT

My name is Kamakaʻāina, the uncle who named me interprets it as “Overseer of the land”. Most of my adult life has been working in the Native Hawaiian community through education and culture based organizations. I believe that education has the power to heal but it shouldnʻt be limited to the classroom. The Color Garden Project  My idea is called The Color Garden Project. In the Hawaiian language our terms for color are very specific. Today “uliuli” is defined as dark blue but really its the deep dark blue of the open ocean, the black of a cloud, the green of a mountain. Most of our words for colors come from dye plants, ‘akala means pink but is also a raspberry, lenalena means yellow and comes from ‘olena or  turmeric. Due to Newton, Goethe and other 18-19th century scholars, color is an abstract concept, whereas traditionally color was more experiential . My idea is to create locally made and sourced watercolors that empower people to connect to ‘åina, culture, and self but also teach about Hawaiian culture and values.

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Natalie Lalagos

MULTILINGUAL STUDENT TRANSLATORS HUB

Natalie Lalagos has always loved learning: so much so that she never left school and is now a Spanish teacher Kealakehe High School and a department head. She believes that teachers come to us in all forms and is therefore a student of Improv at the Aloha Theatre, a Fulbright Teachers For Global Classrooms Fellow, a hula student, a hiker, and a weekly library patron. Natalie is fascinated by languages and believes that they are one of the levers by which we can make our community a more welcoming and equitable place. She is currently working on building a Multilingual Student Translator program at Kealakehe where students will grow their translation skills so that we can be inclusive of all the voices of our community. Multilingual Student Translators Hub West Hawai'i is a beautiful linguistically diverse community where 18% of Hawai'i county speaks a language other than English at home. Furthermore, most recent data tells us that 28% of our school's students either were or are a part of our English Language Learner program compared to 18% of of the Hawai'i public schools students. Yet our school communicates almost exclusively in English with our families and students. Our school has the potential to become a place where all the voices of our community are included. Kealakehe students can be the ones to make our school a more welcoming and navigable place. Multilingual Student Translators seeks to hire students from our school to translate non-confidential materials for our campus. This would help create a more welcoming environment for students and families, give our students valuable work experience, and elevate the power and value of multilingualism. Students will receive training and will begin translating a backlog of materials for our campus. After that, we will market their skills to the wider community. Our goal is to have local non profits contract our students to translate communication of their organizations. This has the potential to help us build a sustainable model for the program. Additionally, students can also receive academic credit towards graduation through their participation in training and in the program.

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Sydney Les Cras

DOCYCLE LLC

Formally I am a scientist and environmental engineer specializing in climate change dynamics, sustainable energy, and environmental pollution. I have spent 4+ years in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Alaska, Iceland, and the Arctic archipelago Svalbard where I have gained an appreciation for remote ecosystems and an awareness for the importance of creating self-sufficient societies via implementing closed-loop systems. In May I graduated from UH Manoa with a Masters in Civil Engineering and have developed a patent pending process for co-treating compostable bioplastics and other biomaterial waste to make it a valuable feedstock for anaerobic digestion. Currently I am looking at the possibilities of creating a utility on the islands for the collection and treatment of compostable waste for the purpose of renewable energy and PHB bioplastic production. DoCycle LLC Upcycling bioplastics into renewable natural gas - creating a closed loop system of compostable bioplastic generation in Hawaii and using the disposed material for renewable natural gas generation.

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Ryan (Dado) Mandado

LEADERSHIP REDESIGNED

Ryan Canoneo Mandado is a school leader, teacher, and community advocate. Born and raised in Kalihi, Ryan's experience growing up low-income has taught him the importance of advocating for those furthest from opportunity. A trained Special Education teacher, he leads with an equity-lens. Systems of inequity were designed and Ryan believes we have the human will, skill, and knowledge to redesign these systems for collective change. Leadership Redesigned Leadership is a complex topic. Student leadership is even more complex. My idea is to create a leadership incubator – to train students how to solve community solutions, work with businesses in their community, consult and design solutions, and take the lead in fostering, building, and establishing networks between organizations and community members. Many educators say that we are growing the future leaders of tomorrow. I want to actually make that happen – starting as a child. I was in student government from 6th grade to my senior year of college. In these experiences, I recognized that I was always told I was a leader but never given the opportunity to change policies, systems, and truly connect the community for larger and sustainable systems that will benefit the collective. Through this project, I hope to create an organization that trains, mentors, and coaches teens to learn, develop, and enact tangible leadership skillsets. I hope our trained students will partner with businesses and organizations to change their leadership models and practices to build bridges and establish a collective responsibility for community change. Overall, this leadership incubator is redefining the skills needed to a community contributor and adding value to K-12 school system diplomas.

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Kelli Yuh

‘IMI OLA

Aloha, my name is Kelli Yuh and I was born in raised here in Honolulu. I currently work as a Pricing Strategy Analyst for Hawaiian Airlines, and I hope to share some of what I have learned from my experiences with the community, and make an impact by supporting the growth Hawaii's young people. ‘Imi Ola “Seeking Highest” is the Hawaiian translation of the word ‘Imi Ola. As its literal meaning states, the mission of ‘Imi Ola is to empower youth to seek and achieve their highest potential. We aim to create an environment of continuous growth through mentorship, collaboration, and community engagement. As a non-profit organization, ‘Imi Ola will focus on students from underrepresented neighborhoods, as well as Native Hawaiians. The program will include a cohort of Hawaii high schoolers who will participate in professional development workshops, engagement with local professionals across various fields, and leadership opportunities such as internships. Building relationships with local business and professionals will give students the exposure and insight into the various career paths that are achievable right here in Hawaii. I want to change the way that students perceive themselves. By fostering true interests and passions, ‘Imi Ola will be a resource to guide and develop young people in identifying and achieving their goals at the highest level. Connecting their passions with tangible and realistic goals is intended to be a stepping stone to a sustainable and fulfilling future for both themselves and their contributions to the community.

COHORT ONE

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Wesley Adkins

'EWA DRIVE IN

A non-profit drive-in movie theatre run by youth, for youth.

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Ava Federov

CICADA

A coalition of artists committed to amplifying the creative response to the climate crisis.

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Joanne Hayashi

BREAST CANCER HAWAI'I

A hub of resources to improve the quality of life of Hawaiʻi’s breast cancer community.

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Ashley Mika

HAWAI'I DISTANCE LEARNING

An online community for Hawaiʻi based teachers to connect and share.

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Mary Moody & Krystal Meisel

HAWAI'I LIT

A women-run production company dedicated to righting history and healing through storytelling.

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Damien Packer

DAMIEN PACKER TRAINING

An athletic training camp to inspire discipline, sacrifice, and responsibility amongst Puna’s keiki.

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Imran Sourjah

OAHU CSM

An online marketplace to increase access to Oahu’s micro-farmers.