By Jimbo Taylor, Community Media Manager, Nānākuli Community Media Center
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” ~ Marjorie Moore
Averaging four feet, eleven inches and too young to vote, Nānākuli ‘Ōlelo Community Media Center’s Youth made a big impression volunteering to cover Representative Andria Tupola’s Town Hall 411 meeting on August 5th at Ka Waihona O Ka Na’auao Public Charter School.
Students Mosheh and Rahel Yeazus both completed Nānākuli ‘Ōlelo CMC’s Basic training in July and looked forward to volunteering so they could work towards earning their ‘Ōlelo training certificate. “The event was informative and I really enjoyed the experience,” said Mosheh. Both Mosheh and Rahel were mentored by Nānākuli ‘Ōlelo’s Youth Xchange E3 Media Club students Desiree Kanui and Jaylee Canoy. Both are ‘Ōlelo certified producers and have three years of experience in volunteering on numerous shoots for the Nānākuli CMC. Desiree Kanui shared, “I was able to do some mentoring tonight. It was a different experience for me. I was able to share what I’ve learned from the ‘Ōlelo staff and pass that knowledge on to my peers, instead of being full on operating mode where I’m usually the one filming, I learned to standby, critique, correct and make sure the camera operators were capturing what they needed to, talk about pressure. In the end, it was fun. They did good”.
In working with, teaching, and mentoring both Desiree and Jaylee for the past three years, Nānākuli ‘Ōlelo Community Media Associate Kourtney Keohuhu shared, “It’s great to see our youth giving back, putting into practice what they’ve learned from ‘Ōlelo. Jimbo, Tiare, myself, ‘Ōlelo, our community, and legislators are very proud of our students”. Representative Andria Tupola shared with Kourtney, “I appreciate that you guys bring out younger volunteers to learn and not only because they need to learn about video, but these kids are learning about our community. It’s a big deal to me that younger kids start to care about matters that are important in our community because sooner than later they’re going to be leaders in our community and it’s great to have them here from the start from when we first started talking about community issues. Mahalo ‘Ōlelo!”
Indeed, Mahalo ‘Ōlelo and Mahalo to all of our Nānākuli ‘Ōlelo volunteers. We are very proud and thankful to all of our you, both young and experienced. Aside from our youth, we also had Nānākuli ‘Ōlelo volunteers Joyce Lamug, Agape Yeazus and Herman Kiili who came out to support ‘Ōlelo and our youth.
Jaylee Canoy, 6th grade ‘Ōlelo Media Club student sums it up best: “I think with what I’m learning at ‘Ōlelo it makes sense that if I can help Aunty Andria, Aunty Maile, and ‘Ōlelo in return for all they help me and my community, I should.” It is this unselfish giving spirit from a 4’10” ‘Ōlelo student volunteer that we can all learn from, little things can make a big difference.