By Eloise Harris, Community Relations Manager
Media and conservation stewardship combined through a new collaboration with Kupu, a local non-profit that prepares youth for Hawai‘i’s growing green economy through mentorship and training. Within two months, Kristina Nip and Jayson Doo of Leeward Community College, Punahou graduates Marissa Miller and Sean Yim, and Rice University bound Stephanie Scoville were trained by ‘Ōlelo to produce a series of video shorts documenting their experiences as Kupu Youth Conservation Corp Summer Program participants.
“Coming into this, I knew very little about media, aside from the things I do on my phone and my social media accounts,” shares Nip. “Because of ‘Ōlelo and their training, I have a stronger appreciation for the filmmaking process and know that if I want to go deeper into a story, I now have access to professional equipment, too.”
From the ridgeline of Mount Ka‘ala, O‘ahu’s highest mountain, to ahupua‘a restoration efforts in the North Shore, the videos produced provide a glimpse into the whirlwind of activities offered through the summer program. Hikes in some of the most remote areas on island and planting native seedlings alongside leading conservationists are a few of the memories poignantly captured by Kupu’s inaugural group of ‘Ōlelo storytellers.
The videos premiered at Kupu’s Ho‘ike celebration to a full audience of over 300 people, followed by a presentation recognizing their accomplishments as newly certified ‘Ōlelo Media Producers. These videos will air on ‘Ōlelo cable and online channels. An Educators Workshop Training for Kupu staff is also being planned for this fall.