Hawaiʻi History Day Youth Council

Meet Our Youth Council Members!

In January of 2021, the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities established The Hawaiʻi History Day Youth Council Program. The purpose of this program is to work together with our youth to:

  • Build trust with their ancestors and histories, and with others.
  • Explore more deeply their own voice, identity, passions, and gifts.
  • Connect with new ideas, tools, leaders, and ways to take positive action in their communities through civic engagement.

This past year, our Youth Council members:

  • Built relationships with diverse students from across the state.
  • Developed leadership skills and stronger sense of voice and civic engagement.
  • Explored topics like: Why does learning history matter for my community? How can learning history strengthen my community?

Our first cohort of bright and cheerful Youth Council members came from islands and schools across Hawaiʻi. Representing our diverse Hawaiʻi History Day districts: Hawaiʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Honolulu, Central, Windward, Leeward, and Kauaʻi, our Youth Council members are passionate about making an impact in their communities.

Recent Events: Planting Seeds for the Future

In our first year, 2020-2021, our Hawaiʻi History Day Youth Council planned and participated in exciting events for teachers and students. These events included:

  • Let’s Make History Together
  • Hawaiʻi History Day 2020-2021 Virtual State Fair
  • 2021 Ice Cream Social

Let’s Make History Together (April 23, 2021):

In our first student-led event of the year, our Youth Council members reached out to students and teachers. They engaged their peers to think about their own interests as a building block for finding a cause, making a change, and developing themselves as leaders. Click on the links below to hear our student voices on our Let’s Make History Together Padlet pages!

Hawaiʻi History Day 2020-2021 Virtual State Fair (April 24, 2021):

The sharing from our Youth Council members at different parts of our Virtual State Fair program were considered by many to be the highlights of our Virtual State Fair–their favorite parts, and the parts they found to be most inspiring and fun. Each Youth Council member shared what it means to them to mālama our history. Mar, from the island of Kauaʻi, shared: “To me making history means taking a stand for what is right–raising a ruckus and fighting for change. We may feel lonely sometimes, but we are always part of something larger, bigger, and greater than ourselves. Making history isn’t a one person job. We, as a collective, do it together.” Click here to see our Virtual State Fair Video.

Ice Cream Social (June 18, 2021): 

In this fun and meaningful event, our youth council again gathered with students from across the state, encouraging their peers to take the next step forward in making a change–to take action, by thinking of ways to use their unique gifts, skills, and interests to plant seeds of change in their communities. The event began with an icebreaker activity which asked our students to post things that they are interested in. Click the image below to see their hobbies!

Reflection: What Did You Learn from the Workshop?

Using Jamboard, students reflected on things they learned from our guest speakers, Representative Jeanné Capela and Trelaine Ito. Click the image below to read their reflections.

Inspired by Youth Making a Change: The Just Futures Project

Civic engagement means youth voices are a vibrant part of our community leadership too.

Our Youth Council members were inspired by The Just Futures Project, a project run by our community partner, the Civic Education Council. Watching and sharing ideas on a series of videos featuring diverse youth leaders and activists, our Youth Council members were inspired to think about ways they can make a change in their communities.

The Civic Education Council also hosted a virtual “Just Futures” Summit for youth leaders on Saturday March 6, 2021, bringing together young people working on many different issues and community concerns to meet each other and build connections, and speak to lawmakers and other community leaders. Thirty folks attended from three islands, and were joined by State of Hawai’i lawmakers Representative Amy Perruso, Representative Jeanné Kapela, Representative Adrian Tam, Representative Sonny Ganaden, Senator Chris Lee, and Senator Stanley Chang. One of the best parts of the event was when the adults were kicked out so our youth could speak to each other–about social justice, political polarization, and more. These discussions were hosted by Kailua High School philosophy club the philoSURFERS.

The work of the Civic Education Council is aimed at providing a holistic, grassroots approach to solving some of our society’s biggest challenges. CEC believes young people are the key to historically informed political change that works towards our desired preferred future. Watch the videos below of inspiring youth who are making a change.

Want to Join Our Youth Council? Apply Today!

We invite you to join us! Please get in touch with us at historyday@hihumanities.org, and check back soon for more information!