Trojan Teams Shine Twice In Hawaii Video Competitions

Jonathan Palompo, Justin Calpito, Jason Schaake and teacher Jason Tamura

Jonathan Palompo (left), Justin Calpito, Jason Schaake and teacher Jason Tamura show off Mililani High's HMSA video award. Photo from Moani Wright-Van Alst.

By Caitlin Basilio

When the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) honored the 2012 Teen Video Awards winners May 9, a team of Mililani High School students took first place in the Addiction Prevention category with the video, Choose Your Path.

Led by teacher Jason Tamura, students Justin Calpito and Jason Schaake produced the video about making the right choices and saying no to drugs. They were inspired to focus on the Meth Project because they believe drugs are a big problem in Hawaii.

Tamura said working with Calpito and Schaake was very rewarding, as “they worked hard all year long for video contests, and their hard work and perseverance paid off.”

Sponsors included the state DOE, Domestic Violence Action Center, the Hawaii Meth Project and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The Trojans also were recognized April 7 for a submission to the inaugural Kalo Video Project, funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawaiian Education and Reinstatement Foundation. The purpose of this contest was to promote Hawaii’s native plants, animals, music and overall culture.

Students Lauren Ajimura and Jonathan Makaiau were applauded for their video and received a plaque and a cash award for their school. Theirs was an educational and cultural video on the importance of kalo. Students showed footage of how to harvest the plant and all the steps involved in growing the traditional Hawaiian food staple.

Ajimura and Makaiau were both in the same broadcast media class and chose to make a video for the Kalo Video Project “because Jonathan and his family actually grow their own kalo in their backyard,” Ajimura said. “This was a topic that challenged us a little more than our usual drinking and driving, teen pregnancy, and using-your-seatbelt kind of theme.”

The submissions marked the first phase in an effort to ultimately have every family in Hawaii grow a taro plant at home while learning its significance in Hawaiian culture, history and health. “We both have lots of passion to bring awareness to others about Hawaii’s native culture and how so many native things go unnoticed when they really should be respected,” added Ajimura.

The cash prizes of $1,000 from the HMSA video contest, and $1,500 from the Kalo Video Project will both go to Mililani High School’s digital media program.