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TEDx HonoluluED, April 13, 2013, Punahou School

This showcase event was student organized and consisted of presentations by students and teachers. It was really inspiring to hear about the innovative things these students and teachers were doing in their schools and in their communities. These amazing people are pursuing their passions and showing others how education could be...

Photo by Amy Burvall

Unleash the Power of Youth

One of the student presentations that really stood out for me was by a high school sophomore, Brittany Amano.  Just wow.  This girl started volunteering and raising money for good causes since she was in elementary school.  She built on her own family experiences with a grandmother who was homeless, and her passion to help the homeless motivated her to raise $513,000 in the last two years!!!

Her message to us was that kids can do a lot.  Message received!  Entire organizations couldn't accomplish that.  So yes, let's build and unleash the power of youth to engage in our communities. For our distance learning courses, it might not be fundraising, but for example in our Mālama ‘Āina course we might get our participants to go out themselves or work with keiki to participate in environmental activities.

Kawaii Cream Puffs - Youth Entrepreneurship

Photo from Kawaii Cream Puffs website
The other student presentation that I felt a personal connection to was by high schooler Stephanie Siow.  For her senior project, she started her own business, Kawaii Cream Puffs, making and selling charms and jewelry.  I mean, look at that photo!  It looks so real and delicious, but it's a charm that she made herself!

Stephanie used her school project to develop her business and actually pursue her passion.  I've always wanted to have my own bakery or some kind of baking related business, but I've never made the time or had the guts to do it, so I really admire Stephanie's determination and willingness to just go for it.  I'm thankful for the schools and advisors who support senior projects, but it should also extend beyond just a senior year thing.  Let's provide this kind of opportunity and support for creativity and passion throughout a child's education.

As our distance learning department makes its foray into online and blended learning on the school side, I hope we will keep the desires of the students in mind and design courses that will help students to cultivate their passions and make those real-world connections between school, community, and their life dreams.

Get Out in the Local Education Community

Lastly, I really just liked this event because it was nice to be out in the local education community, with other KSDL team members, and other KS staff members.  We have a lot of great things going on here in Hawaii, and it's wonderful to connect with people across the island who are just passionate about education. 

Of course, cupcakes always win me over, too.   :)


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