By Priscilla Mikell
Fifteen Kamehameha Schools Maui haumanā attended the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce 8th Annual Business Fest held at the Grand Wailea on October 2. As guests of the Chamber, KSM haumanā were introduced to professional development, politics, and civic involvement and responsibility; contributing to their growth and development as future Hawai`ian leaders.
During the day-long event, the haumanā heard from many speakers, including recently retired KS Kapalama Po`o Kula Michael Chun. They welcomed Dr. Chun with Oli Aloha. After listening to Dr. Chun, several haumanā said they now realize that they are the future of Hawai`i and need to become aware and involved in issues concerning the community.
◄Photo 1: Haumanā oli for Dr. Chun (photo by Maui Total Vision)
The haumanā also got a first-hand glimpse into the politics of Hawai`i and the County of Maui. They heard from gubernatorial candidates Duke Aiona, David Ige and Mufi Hanneman; Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa and his contender, Tamara Paltin; and all sixteen candidates running for Maui County Council seats. In a post-conference assignment, the haumanā were asked to cast their votes on a mock ballot and to identify the political candidate that impressed them the most; positively or negatively. The results were very interesting; reflecting insightful observations and sound decision making by the haumanā. Three of the seniors attending the conference who will be of age to vote in the General Election, stated that they plan to register and vote on November 4.
Also speaking at the Business Fest were Kepā Maly, Sr. Vice President of Culture and Historic Preservation at Pulama Lāna`i, and Miki K. Tomita, Ph.D., Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at University Laboratory Schools in Honolulu and education team member for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage.
During lunch the haumanā sat with Chamber members and other adults attending the Business Fest; learning and practicing business networking and socializing skills.
◄Photo 3: (standing) Makai Mossman (left) and Kainoa Deguilmo (right) with Marisa Fujimoto of Munekiyo & Hiraga, Inc. and (front left to right) Chia Michelson of Michelson Global, Inc., Katherine Kama`ema`e Smith of Honu Publications, and Rae Kamai of Sempra Auwahi Wind.
The haumanā unanimously responded that attending the day-long Business Fest was a worthwhile experience and recommended that other haumanā attend future Business Fest and similar events. As one haumanā stated, ‘…it was a rare experience to develop leadership skills,’ and “If you get invited do not decline.”
Me ka mahalo nui, Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce for hosting KSM’s haumanā at the 8th Annual Business Fest; partnering in the education and leadership development of young Hawai`ian leaders.