East Hawaii News

Waiākea High Takes Top Honors at ‘Ōlelo Youth Xchange Student Video Competition

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A Big Island high school recently took top honors in Hawai‘i’s largest and oldest video contest for keiki.

Waiākea High School in Hilo won the Expert category at the 2021-22 Youth Xchange Statewide Student Video Competition with the video “Alexis Ann.” (Photo courtesy of ‘Ōlelo Community Media)

Waiākea High School in Hilo bested some 50 other schools to win the Expert category during the 19th annual ‘Ōlelo Youth Xchange Student Video Competition. The winning entry was a video titled “Alexis Ann.”

As the Expert winner, Waiākea High was awarded a prize pack worth more than $700 that included a SmallRig professional smartphone video rig kit with LED light, microphone and desk tripod; DJI OM5 gimbal smartphone stabilizer; Movo Photo two-person wireless lavalier microphone system; Anker-PowerCore III Elite portable charger; and an anamorphic movie lens.

Waiākea High also took top place in the competition’s “Prepare Now – Don’t Forget Tutu … and Popoki Too!” category with an entry titled “A Special Place in Your Heart, Means a Special Plan to Protect.”


This year, Youth Xchange videos competed in 14 categories. The winners in the non-expert categories took home prize packs worth more than $500, which included the same smartphone video rig, gimbal and wireless lavalier microphone system.

Students in ‘Ōlelo Youth Xchange compete in three age divisions: elementary, intermediate and high school. Previous winners and students with professional experience compete in the Junior Expert (kindergarten through middle school) and Expert (high school and college) categories. Teachers submit videos for their elementary and secondary students, while university students are allowed to submit their work themselves.

This year’s submissions were created by hundreds of students who attend public, charter and private schools statewide or are home-schooled.


Winners were announced during a recent in-person awards gala, with their prizes presented in front of student peers for the first time since 2019. The gala telecast is available on ‘Ōlelo Video On-Demand Spectrum Channel 184 and Channel 1961 HD, Hawaiian Telcom On-Demand Channel 808, as well as at olelo.org/olelonet.

Winning videos were selected based on subject impact and technical production. Judging panels included news media, filmmaking professionals and, in the case of sponsored categories, subject experts.

‘Ōlelo Youth Xchange was launched in 2003 to give keiki a voice to tell stories in a variety of video formats about subjects meaningful to them. For more information, click here.


The program is supported by ‘Ōlelo Community Media, a private, nonprofit provider of community access television and resources on O‘ahu, whose mission is to strengthen island voices and advance community engagement through innovative media. For more information, click here.

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