Student activities at Waiakea High School were in full swing during the months of November and December.
On Nov. 21, students sign-waved and held an informational booth in support of the Great American Smokeout. Sally Ancheta from the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii and radio personality Pomai Longakit served as emcees for the event.
“The main goal was to bring awareness of the dangerous effects tobacco and smoking can have on the body. The goal was met as students had first-hand experience as they looked at and touched a diseased lung, and signed pledge cards to live a tobacco-free life,” said activity chairperson Kaydee Rapozo.
That same week, students in all grade levels donated 531 pounds of canned goods for the canned structure competition. A total of 826 canned goods and non-perishable food items were donated to The Food Basket Inc. The sophomore class contributed a grand total of 225 items, followed by the class of 2015, with a total of 222 items. In the canned structure competition, it was the Junior Tigers prevailing with their Thanksgiving creation of the Mayflower. At lunch, students participated in a Thanksgiving Obstacle Course.
On Dec. 2, in recognition of World AIDS Day, Waiakea High hosted the Facing AIDS Campaign with specialists from the Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation and cosmetologists from MAC Cosmetics. Through the AIDS.gov Facing AIDS photo-sharing initiative, students were given the opportunity to get a makeover and to help reduce the HIV stigma by putting a face to AIDS and using social media to spread their message.
On Dec. 3, leadership students assisted the Hawaii Supreme Court with the Courts in the Community Program at the University of Hawaii Performing Arts Center. Serving as hosts for the event, student government leaders coordinated the seating arrangement for those in attendance, greeted attendees and presented lei to the attorneys and justices.
Student coordinator Katelyn Shirai commented, “Although it was stressful, it was an honor to be a part of this educational event. It was exciting to meet the justices and to witness an actual Supreme Court case.”
Continuing in its seventh year, Waiakea High School hosted Santa’s Workshop, a Warrior Service Project and kid-exclusive event that allows students from Waiakeawaena and Waiakea Elementary Schools to purchase up to five gifts for family and friends at reasonable prices. New or like-new items were donated by Waiakea High School students and staff, and from staff members at the two feeder elementary schools. The high school students also provided the manpower to serve as personal shoppers and gift wrappers for the youngsters.
“The event was a huge success thanks to the many donations we received and the volunteer help from our student body and faculty. We must not forget the elementary students who participated in this annual event,” said Karyl-Lin Yamakawa, activity chairperson.
Proceeds from this year’s event will be presented to Easter Seals Hawaii in February at the school’s annual Variety Show. Past recipients of Santa’s Workshop included PBS Hawaii, Ronald McDonald House, American Red Cross, Hawaii Island Food Bank, Hospice of Hilo, Friends of Panaewa Zoo and the American Cancer Society.
Closing out the remainder of the 2013 year, students attended the annual Winter Ball, and participated in activities throughout Winter Week 2013, culminating with the annual Winter Program.