My Hawai‘i Story Contest 2015

My Hawai‘i Story Contest 2015

My Hawai'i, 2015 Student Environmental Writing Contest Winners announced

The 25 winners of the 9th annual My Hawai'i Story Contest were announced today.
The theme of this year's contest is, "Hanohano Hawai'i Kuauli: Celebrating Collaboration and Wisdom Across Hawaii's Ecosystems." The 2015 winners are:

Trever Casabar, The Way of the Forest, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Mahealani Deenik, Mauka to Makai, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Kyler Delacruz, Hapuna, Waiakea Intermediate School
Hiʻilei Dikilato, From the Mountains to the Sea, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Shaylan Gega, Ekolu and Kahi, Waiakea Intermediate School
Evan Kauwe, Until the Sun Returns, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Isaiah-Carter Kekaimalu-Bundy-Wong, O'opu Survival, Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo
Maisie Klem, An Ecosystem in a Shell, Punahou School
Nālani Klopfenstein, Ka Moʻolelo I'a: The Fish Story, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Keao Liu, Ka'ūpūlehu, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Bryan McAniff, Up in the Mountains, Mililani Middle School
E Ala Mai Nakahara, Free the Native Plants, Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo
Jolie Numasaki, Another Million Trees, Punahou School
Jason Sadayasu, Working Together is Better Than Working Alone, Punahou School
Kualii Shimasaki, My Home, University Laboratory School
Bryanne Soares, Hawaiʻi, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Kaimālie Stensgaard, A Small Piece of Hawaii's Heart, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Lana-June Tennant, Ka apo ola (The Circle of Life), St. Andrew's Schools
Chris Togiai, Through Their Eyes, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Noe Watson, The Forgotten Wonders and Life of Hawai'i, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Sabrina Weaver, Mr. Wind: A Manoa Valley Tribute, University Laboratory School
Kate Welch, Malama Kanaloa, Hoala School
Joshua Wong, E ho ola I ka honu - To save a turtle, Punahou School
Kama Wong, KĀNE, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
Kaylee-Marie Zimmermann, Lōkahi, Kamehameha Schools Maui

Mahalo to all the participating students and teachers! Of special note, one of this year's winners, Kate Welch from Ho'ala School in Wahiawa, has been a winner 3 years in a row, since she was in 6th grade. Congratulations Kate!

My Hawai'i, is an annual environmental writing contest for middle school students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 from across the state. The top 25 poems and short stories were selected from more than 360 submissions and will be published in an anthology that is distributed to schools and libraries statewide. The students' writing represents personal reflections on the environment, cultural values, kuleana, stewardship, and place-based writing, and contributes to a collection of youth literature that is unique to Hawai'i. To date, 225 middle school students have had their stories and poems on the environment published! While academic testing provides a measure of content knowledge, creative writing can capture students' thoughts, passions, beliefs, and values.

The My Hawai'i Story Contest provides an educational approach that develops interdisciplinary thinkers. Many of the stories and poems include knowledge from diverse backgrounds and provide good examples of successful collaborations that integrate traditional cultural values and contemporary life in Hawai'i. The imaginative visions of middle school students reveal their insights on Hawaii's environment today and their dreams for tomorrow. The future of conservation and environmental leadership lies firmly in the hands our haumana, the young people of Hawai'i. This important initiative encourages, nurtures, cultivates, and promotes future generations to develop a sense of responsibility to care for and protect Hawaii's environment.

For the past nine years the Pacific Writers' Connection (PWC), the Hawai'i Conservation Alliance, and the following state and federal agencies, have co-sponsored the My Hawai'i Story Contest:

Hawai'i Coastal Zone Management Program
Hawai'i Conservation Alliance
Hawai'i Conservation Alliance Foundation
Hawai'i Department of Education
Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources - Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Division of Aquatic Resources
Hawai'i Environmental Education Alliance
National Park Service - Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

For more information, please contact Dr. Takiora Ingram, cell: 808-781-6147 or email or Molly Mamaril, email

Last updated: May 18, 2015

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