Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative Delegates Attend
Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development: June 22- 28, 2013
Sherry Anne Pancho
Joe Kevin Burchill
The Stone Soup Leadership Institute's 9th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development was held from June 22-28. The Summit inspires, educates and empowers young people to take initiative in their lives and on their island. This year's Summit was dedicated to Nelson Mandela. Each day we chose a Leadership Theme: Connection, Intention, Joy, Commitment, Compassion, and Courage.This was the most diverse Summit - with flags representing youth delegates from 16 countries and U.S. States.
Six Hawaii youth (ages 14-18) were nominated by schools, non-profit organizations, and community leaders to serve as delegates. Three of the six youth attended the Summit. During the weeklong intensive leadership training youth envision their personal, professional, island and planetary goals. This year's youth delegates aspire to become entrepreneurs, doctors, psychiatrist, and physical therapist, sustainable architect, interior designer, pastry chef, scientist, dermatologist, biomedical engineer, public relations, music industry, technology, international relations, political science - and "at least a Senator."
Youth started with a reflective walk on Lucy Vincent Beach, where Alex Siordia led a Hawaiian chant to honor Mother Earth. Everyone silently found a "magic stone" and then designed a beach mural that represented all island youth delegates.The Summit featured Skype video sessions: Trevor Tanaka shared his successful journey with his journey Sustainable Education Resolution. Hawaiian youth thanked Ian Kitajima, Oceanit for his support in getting sponsor for their flights.
The Summit began with a Sustainable Vineyard Tour. Hawaii's youth met sustainability leaders including American Indian Wampanoag entrepreneur at Orange Peel Bakery, award winning organic groundskeeper at Vineyard Golf Course, business owner at Cronig's Market Solar Project, homeowner atgreen low-income community at Eliakim's Way, and Thimble Farm whose 5-year plan is to feed the Island's school children. On Sunday, youth ventured out on kayaks to learn about the fragile beauty of the Island's waters with the Trustees of the Reservation at Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge and finished with lunch at the Chappaquiddick Community Center. By learning first-hand about these green projects, Hawaii's youth were inspired to develop their Sustainability-In-Action Projects.
What Sustainable Practices Are Happening in the World?
Youth learned about global issues and sustainability initiatives from around the world. Alex Frost, former Sustainability & Resource Coordinator for Hawaii County shared best sustainability practices from Hawaii and the global islands Island of Wight, England, El Hierro Island, Spain, New Zealand and Iceland. Boston University graduate student Ben Thompson inspired youth by describing how the350.org's Fossil Fuel Divestiture Campaignencourages colleges to build on the successful anti-apartheid movement divestiture movement. Emily Nuss described how she raised resources for Kids to Kids, she founded in the 6th grade to help children in Dominican Republic and Rwanda, Africa. Signe Benjamin shared the Vineyard Conservation Society's goal of encouraging people to have "Vineyard lawns" to reduce the use of chemicals that pollute our lakes. Kaila Binney at Island Grown Schools ties school gardens into a classroom curriculum so youth learn to garden and promote the locally grown food movement. After listening to these amazing presentations, youth delegates had a Roundtable Discussion about sustainable practices in the world today and what they could put to use. Some ideas: buy local foods or grow your own foods; buy smart, be aware, spread awareness; encourage less packaging; reduce paper at school; ride bikes and take the bus; conserve energy (turn off lights, less A.C., etc.); efficiency; reusing clothes; electric cars; Pinterest for Do It Yourself projects; and support 350.org's Fossil Fuel Divestiture Campaign. When Alex Frost asked the question: "How do we make green living affordable?" youth reflected on the importance of inviting those who actually have more resources to adopt green lifestyles (electric cars, solar panels, etc.) and to invest in green projects and companies building a sustainable world.
SHYLI Youth Leaders Presentations
Alex Siordia: Big Island Dairy -- Going Green
Mickie Hirata: Renewable Energies & HPA's Energy Lab
Sherry Anne Pancho and KaMele Sanchez: Hydroponics: It's Importance and Science
Bethany Cole: Sustainability Overview on Hawai'i Island
Bethany Anderson: The Importance of Building Sidewalks & Bike Lanes In Hawaii
The Youth Leadership Summit opened my eyes to new ideas and different interpretations of the world and of my island. What I learned and the places I visited will be with me for a lifetime. I learned about Aquaponics and plan to build a test system at my home. The people I met made a large impact on my life. The conversations, activities, and food helped me learn about other people's cultures. Josue and Kassandra showed me that through perseverance one can make a difference in their life and community. I shared and received support for my Sustainability-In-Action Project to help public high school students apply to, and attend college. I am very proud to be a member of SHYLI, and am excited to see what we can accomplish in the coming year.
The Sustainable Vineyard Tour showed me ways people are taking action towards sustainability - integrating the community, business, and their passions into real working ideas. The island of Martha's Vineyard is full of potential to become sustainable while keeping the island true to its character. The Summit presentations taught me that using your personal passions can help a community, island, and the world into being sustainable. Meeting other youth leaders, learning about everyone's passions and future plans was great. Their ideas and accomplishments were inspiring. It gave me inspiration for my own action plan and while talking to mentors, made it seem very possible. The mentors have helped inspire me to live out all of my dreams just as they have done. It was uplifting to meet a diverse group of peers who wanted to make an impact in sustainability. I will put these lessons learned to good use to add to the wonderful things that are happening on this world.
I learned so much about sustainability and the world at the Summit. It is simply amazing how much I was able to take away after this weeklong Summit. Martha's Vineyard is well on the road to being a sustainable island model. Being with my fellow youth leaders from the Big Island, Lana'i, Martha's Vineyard, and Vieques we found a common ground to connect and build upon. Together with the support of our island communities, and the global community, we have the ability to make the changes we wish to see in the world.
Sherry Anne Pancho
What is My 5 Year Action Plan?
Youth delegates were asked to envision the steps towards their dreams - from 1 to 5 years - for their personal, professional, and island dreams. They were encouraged to think about who they would like to invite to be on their Sustainability-In-Action Project teams - and which mentors might be supportive and strategic to their success!
Summit Professional Development Workgroups
Each afternoon, youth worked with seasoned leaders and college students to explore their dreams for their lives. Youth joined professional development workgroups to explore their career options with seasoned youth and professionals. These discussions allowed the youth to really dig deep and think about the steps they needed to take in their lives to realize their dreams for their life. They were encouraged to develop a 5-year action plan to help keep them on track. Green Jobs, Alex Frost; Business & Entrepreneurship, Kassandra Castillo; Political Science/Law, Josue Cruz; Public Health, Nicole Garrity; Global Health, Emily Nuss; and Technology, Marsha Reeves-Jews.
SHYLI's Sustainability-In-Action Projects
The SHYLI youth delegates met together in workgroups with seasoned youth leader Josue Cruz to develop strategies for each of their Sustainability-In-Action Projects. This year they will plan and develop a Youth & Community Leadership Forum to share their projects with their Island leaders and build partnerships to improve Hawaii Island. Mickie Hirata: Sustainable Resource Website; Sherry Pancho & KaMele Sanchez: Rebuild Hydroponics at Honoka'a High School; Alex Siordia: College Prep Program for Public High School Youth.
MVYLI's Sustainable Vineyard Map & 2020 Project
MVYLI youth are championing the Sustainable Vineyard Map & 2020 Project to spotlight sustainable businesses on the Island -- restaurants that buy local, green hotels, farms, renewable energy sources, as well as culturally sustainable places. "We hope the MVYLI Map will encourage "green tourism" on the island and promote Martha's Vineyard as a model for sustainable living, encouraging tourists and Islanders alike to support their growth and development," says Mary. "Soon the Map will be on Google Earth and next year given to tourists at the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce."
Cultural Sustainability Project
The MVYLI Cultural Sustainability Project group is organizing a Multicultural Festival to showcase the wonderful diverse island and world that we live in. It is a family and all-island event, open to anyone who wishes to learn and experience a variety of cultures through activities, stories, literature, art, music, and history. We want to help people realize out of many people we are one, and what it means to all of us to be apart of this diverse beautiful world.
Institute's Sustainable Islands Technology Initiative
SHYLI youth stay connected to island delegates with the Institute's Sustainable Islands Technology Initiative.
The Institute Board President Marsha Reeves-Jews inspired youth to make presentations to Island's leaders with a Networking 101 Workshop: how to put our best foot forward, shake hands, look people in the eye, speak up, and share our dreams with people who could help to make them happen!
SHYLI Summit Delegates * Tuesday, July 17 at Hawaii Preparatory Academy
SHYLI's 2nd Annual Youth & Community Leadership Forum: January 2014
SHYLI's 2nd Annual Job Shadow Day: January 2014
Official Messages From Hawaii's Leaders
I commend each one of you for answering the call to "think globally, act locally." Our nation and planet face immense challenges to create a more sustainable future. This Summit presents an opportunity for you to engage in meaningful dialogue to address important issues and propose viable solutions to these problems. Through this collaborative process, there is great potential to produce meaningful solutions. Each one of you comes from different places and brings different life experiences, yet, acting collectively, you are interconnected. You understand that each one of us needs to take responsibility for our actions in order to make a difference. Making our country more sustainable is not a simple task, but all of you young leaders give me great hope for our future. These Hawaii youth delegates bring with them a unique perspective growing up on an island state and witnessing first-hand what is happening to Hawaii's fragile environment. Thank you to the Stone Soup Leadership Institute and its sister program the Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative for their ongoing efforts in enabling the next generation of leaders.
Mazie Hirono, United States Senator
I would like to acknowledge the delegation from the state of Hawai`i: KaMele Sanchez, Alex Siordia, Sherry Anne Pancho, Mickie Hirata, Bethany Cole, Bethany Anderson from Hawai`i island, and Lucena Gaceta, Daniel Forsythe, Caroline Stuck from Lana`i. Mahalo to this fine group of young men and women for representing us well. They are members of a generation tasked with the challenge of rethinking how society can continue developing in a way that is both fruitful and sustainable. Each one is armed with not only a firm commitment to create a sustainable future, but also the ability to push forth new ideas to do so. These innovators represent change agents who have the potential to reengineer the future. Thank you to the Sustainable Hawai`i Youth Leadership Initiative and Stone Soup Leadership Institute for their investment in our country's youth and for enabling them to serve their communities.
Brian Schatz, United States Senator
On behalf of the people of Hawaiʻi, I extend a warm aloha to youth from Lana'i and Hawai'i Islands representing theSustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative. I commend each of you for your work on your Sustainability-In-Action Projects. Many of you have taken your first steps toward becoming leaders in your community, conceiving projects of sustainable development and working with others to realize those projects to preserve and consume wisely our earth's limited resources. Each of you attending the Summit, are forward-thinking citizens of our world community, who will shape our collective future, so I encourage you to think big. We all need to think creatively, plan carefully and work diligently for the future of our communities and our world. We know there will be challenges that are often not possible to predict, and they may be daunting, but they also bring unlimited opportunities for success. I look forward to hearing the many ideas that result from this year's forum.
Neil Abercrombie, Governor, State of Hawaii
We are very proud of Hawai' i Island' s youth delegates - Alex Siordia, Mickie Hirata, KaMele Sanchez, Sherry Pancho, Bethany Cole, and Bethany Anderson, and congratulate them on being selected to represent the Big Island. We commend the Stone Soup Leadership Institute for your dedication to build innovative public- private partnerships to develop healthier, sustainable communities, and their commitment to organize youth-community leadership initiatives on the islands of Hawai'i, Martha' s Vineyard and in the Caribbean. These future leaders will be of great value to our island communities as we seek ways to preserve and integrate our unique culture with a complex modern world. It is particularly important for our isolated island communities to embrace the concept of sustainability, since it is through sustainability that we can insulate ourselves from worldwide events over which we have no control. We extend a warm Aloha to all the delegates and wish them great success as they embark on this journey toward a more secure future for their islands and the rest of the world.
Billy Kenoi, Mayor, The County of Hawai'i
The Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative is a program of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute, a 501�3 organization founded in 1997 on Martha's Vineyard. SHYLI's local partner is the Na Wai Iwi Ola Foundation whose mission is perpetuating the Hawaiian culture, language and practices. Its director, Keala Ching is a SHYLI founding Advisory Council member. He is teacher at the Hawaiian Immersion Program at Konawaena Elementary School while completing his Masters in Education at the University of Hawaii. As a teacher he sees the need to expand the Hawaiian renaissance to develop the next generation of leaders who are prepared to make good decisions about the future of Hawaii.
SHYLI Youth Pass the Torch, Hawaii 24/7, April 29, 2013
Mahalo to Our Sponsors
Sponsor -- Hawaii Bowl Foundation
Donors: Alex Frost, Farrah Marie Gomes, Anne Anderson, Mark Nakashima, Colleen Lawrence, Maile David, Kerry Howell, Steve McPeek, William Rogers, Trevor Tanaka, Ian & Lianne Kitajima
Special supporters: Katie Schwind, Ian Kitajima, Ernest Nishizaki, Jason Ito, Daniel Chun, Mike McCarthney
Nominating organizations: Dr. Ming Wei Koh, HPA Energy Lab, Manuel Jadulang, Honoka'a High School, Anne Anderson, Girl Scouts Hilo and Sam Robinson, Let's Grow Hilo
Sustainable Hawai'i Youth Leadership Initiative
Stone Soup Leadership Institute