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Big Island Student Honored for Healthier Hawai‘i Essay

March 19, 2018, 7:57 AM HST
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Former Gov. George Ariyoshi. VC: hawaiinext50.com

Kaia Fujinaka of Waiakea Elementary School in Hilo earned the first-place award in the state’s Hawaii: Next 50 Contest, grade four and five category.

Solutions to air pollution, methods to eliminate invasive species, fun and effective ways to reduce obesity, and a simple, but practical, encouragement to spread kindness were some of the top ideas from keiki across the state as part of the Hawaii: Next 50 Contest.

The Hawai‘i State House of Representatives will celebrate these ideas by honoring the first-place winners of the contest during its regular session on March 19.

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The contest is inspired by former Gov. George Ariyoshi’s book, Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years. Students are tasked to read the book to gain insight into the events that shaped Hawai‘i during its first 50 years of statehood, and then propose creative and innovative solutions to the physical, mental, or environmental health issues that matter most to them.

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Students, their families, and teachers are invited to the State Capitol where the winning participants will be honored in the House of Representatives, followed by a luncheon with legislators, including Gov. Ariyoshi. The winners will also receive a monetary prize.

The winners are:

Essay
Grades 4-5: Kaia Fujinaka, Waiakea Elementary School
Grades 6-8: Brian Li, Punahou School
Grades 9-12: Cameryn Rae Kahalewai, Moloka‘i High School

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Multimedia
Grades 4-5: Aaron Omuro, Kahului Elementary School
Grades 6-8: Alena Bolosan, Ewa Makai Middle School
Grades 9-12: Mary Brittany Bello, Waipahu High School

Copies of all winning essays and multimedia entries will be available on the Hawaii: Next 50 website by the end of March.

More information can be found online.

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