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Recovery Stories


Art Contest Winners Announced

Six Puna Students Awarded Prizes
Post Date:12/04/2019 3:00 PM

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 Drake 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.

Group photo_contest

Caption: From left, Jubilee Nelson Drake, Cayla Peat, Tara Davis, Serenity Waiki, Travis Chai-Andrade, Janelle Chang, and Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz. 

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.

First Place

“Love for Hawai‘i Island” by Jubilee Nelson Drake of Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science

“The hands are kind of there to kind of hold the love for the island, in the heart, there is what makes this island special from the mountain to the nene goose. These are some of the things that I think make the island as amazing as it is and shows some of its colors like in the flowers.”

First place_story


Second Place

“Champagne Ponds” by Cayla Peat of Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science

“This is a drawing of Champagne Ponds in Kapoho. … I grew up going here, and so did most of the community. Even though it no longer exists, the community still finds ways to come together.”



Third Place

“Howzit & A Hui Hou” by Janelle Chang of Pāhoa High School

“At times we may need to say “howzit” (hello) to the new and “a hui hou” (till we meet again) to the past we leave behind us. To be Puna and Hawai‘i Island Strong we must remain united and have what we are known for, island pride!!”


Third place_contest

Honorable Mentions

  • Tara Davis of Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science for “Shattered Faces.”
  • Travis Chai-Andrade of Kamehameha Schools for “Glowing Road.”
  • Serenity Waiki of Pāhoa Intermediate School for “As One Puna Hawaii.”
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