Waiakea rallies against smoking, meth
The ending of the first semester was a busy one for Waiakea High School’s Student Government Association. Activities prior to winter break consisted of student awareness and community service which included: Great American Smokeout, HI Meth Project, Feeding the Hungry and Santa’s Workshop.
On Nov. 15, the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii-East Hawaii was invited to promote the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout during a noon-time rally. Students stopped by the display table to have the opportunity to spin the Tobacco 101 Wheel and win a Smoke-Free Cars T-shirt and other fun prizes, touch a black lung, and learn how to help a loved one quit smoking.
Students also signed a Smoke-Free pledge form to celebrate the second anniversary of the Hawaii County Smoke-Free Vehicles (while a minor is present) law. Sally Ancheta, CTFH-East Hawaii Community Coalition coordinator, assisted student chairperson Mariko Kurahashi with the activity.
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, Waiakea High School junior and Hawaii Meth Teen Advisory Council member Kayla Yamada, along with Hawaii Meth Project Program Manager Colby Takeda, organized a “White Out Meth” lunch rally where students were asked to wear white. Students were treated to live music by DJ Frizel, educational games and giveaways, a special appearance and presentation by Mayor Billy Kenoi, and the opportunity for students to sign a pledge to “White Out Meth.”
Big Island aerosol artist Derek Ishii painted a large-scale mural inspired by the Hawaii Meth Project’s “Not Even Once” message named, “Life After Meth.” The pledge and mural will be featured in the “Take a Stand Against Meth” art display at the state capitol.
Later in the afternoon, SGA, Key, Leo, Interact and grade-level students participated in a Feed the Hungry project under the Bayfront soccer field tent. Students brought donations of food and desserts to feed the less fortunate. Bags of fruit and toiletries were also distributed to those in attendance. Recipients were treated to more than they bargained for, as they left with a lot of extras.
The final service project of 2012 was WHS’s sixth annual Santa’s Workshop. New and gently-used items donated by Waiakea High students and staff were sold as holiday gifts to Waiakeawaena and Waiakea Elementary School children at reasonably cheap prices. Personal shoppers assisted the elementary students with their shopping lists, and the gifts were wrapped by eager holiday assistants.
Chairperson Krystle Koshiyama and her committee decided to donate this year’s money, well over $1,000, to the American Cancer Society. A check presentation will be held at the school’s annual Variety Show on Feb. 23.
“Waiakea High School provides many opportunities for student involvement. I’m really glad that I’m getting involved. It’s cool to meet other students and help the school and community at the same time,” commented senior Jake Oda.
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