(BIVN) – The winners of an art contest inspired by the dramatic volcanic eruption of 2018 were announced at the Hawaiʻi County Council meeting in Hilo on Wednesday.
From the County of Hawaiʻi:
Six students were announced as winners in the Nā ‘Ōpio o Puna Art Contest during a Wednesday meeting of the Hawai‘i County Council in Hilo.
Through the contest organized by Hawai‘i County’s Kīlauea eruption recovery team and its partners, students attending high schools in Puna were invited to submit original artwork illustrating what it means to be “Hawai‘i Island and Puna Strong.”
“They dug down deep and they reflected on how the Kīlauea eruption impacted them, their families and their community,” said Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz. “But beyond that, they wanted to celebrate what they feel makes Puna and Hawai‘i Island strong.”
The winners are: Jubilee Nelson Drakee of Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science (first place), Cayla Peat of Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science (second place), Janelle Chang of Pāhoa High School (third place), and honorable mentions Tara Davis of Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science, Travis Chai-Andrade of Kamehameha Schools and Serenity Waiki of Pāhoa Intermediate School.
Each student is awarded an individual development account (IDA) with Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) in amounts of $250 for honorable mentions, $500 for third place, $750 for second place and $1,000 for first place. The top three winners and their families also receive a one-night stay at the Grand Naniloa Hotel courtesy of the hotel.
An IDA is a restricted matched savings account often used for university expenses, career training, or entrepreneurial opportunities. The contest IDAs are sponsored by Tetra Tech, SSFM International, Hawai‘i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development, and HCA.
The students will work with HCA to determine the parameters of their savings goals.
Winners were determined by a selection committee consisting of Kierkiewicz, Puna Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder, Recovery Officer Douglas Le, Pāhoa High School alumnus and University of Hawaii at Hilo student Keinan Agonias, and Puna Action Committee Vice-Chair Franny Brewer.
“Today, you should have a little bit more confidence in proceeding through life and in being part of your community,” commented Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder.
The County will use this contest to explore an expanded pilot program to build financial resilience across Puna through financial education and savings opportunities for students and their ‘ohana.