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On Saturday, May 18, Nā Leo TV celebrated the creativity and talent of Hawai‘i Island youth during its inaugural Youth Media Challenge awards ceremony, held at the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo. The initiative, which saw the participation of more than 250 youth aged 11-24 and 24 schools, marks a significant milestone in promoting youth engagement and content creation on the island.

“We are inspired by the stories and ideas our youth have shared and are thrilled by the overwhelming response to this challenge,” said Ashley Kierkiewicz, President & CEO of Nā Leo TV. “We are already planning for next year’s challenge to be even bigger and better. Given the fantastic participation, we will work with schools over the summer to invest in equipment for media labs, enabling youth to continue their content creation journey.” 

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The awards ceremony was a vibrant affair, emceed by popular radio personality Ku‘ehu Mauga. Attendees enjoyed a lively lunch hour with music by Positive Motion, further adding to the festive atmosphere.

Keynote speaker Lacy Deniz, a former Hawai‘i News Now reporter and native of Hawai‘i Island, delivered an inspiring address. Deniz emphasized the value of perseverance and dedication, encouraging youth to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. Attendees also heard from Derek Kurisu, host of the popular island TV show “Living in Paradise” about the opportunity youth have to be lifelong storytellers.

Each participant received a swag bag with an exclusive commemorative t-shirt, achievement certificate, hydroflask, stickers, pens, and a notebook. Winners received a medal, certificate, and one of many prizes totaling nearly $20,000. The prizes included Insta360 cameras, GoPros, phone cages, gimbals, drawing monitors, Beats Studio Buds, Wacom Bamboo pens, selfie sticks, LED pix art displays, light panels, gaming and podcast microphones, ring light kits, portable lights, wireless mics, and phone cranes.

Get ready for the next challenge, beginning October 2024.



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Congratulations to all 2024 Nā Leo Youth Media Challenge Winners!



Support Local
Title Sponsor: KTA Superstores
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Save our ‘ohana from the shadows
Tristi Riveira
Waiākea High School


Support Local
Title Sponsor: KTA Superstores
Digital Art: Emerging Creators
Harvesting Hope

Luche Angeline Mardie Asuncion Ganot
UH Hilo


Support Local
Title Sponsor: KTA Superstores
Short Film: Junior Visionaries
Hawai‘i Greens Freight Farms


Support Local
Title Sponsor: KTA Superstores
PSA: Junior Visionaries
Supporting local
Xavior Parayno
Ha‘aheo Elementary


Support Local
Title Sponsor: KTA Superstores
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Lack of local produce
Ciara Aparicio-Bill and Jakayla Castillo
Kealakehe High School


Water, Our Most Precious Resource
Title Sponsor: Dept. of Water Supply
Digital Art: Junior Visionaries
Ways we waste, and can save, water

Tanisha Carvalho
Kea‘au Middle School


Water, Our Most Precious Resource
Title Sponsor: Dept. of Water Supply
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
1 drop, 100 uses

Desiree Bantol
Waiākea High School

 


Water, Our Most Precious Resource
Title Sponsor: Dept. of Water Supply
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Water is valuable

Naiya Bello-Schroeder
Hilo Intermediate School


Water, Our Most Precious Resource
Title Sponsor: Dept. of Water Supply
PSA: Emerging Creators
From mauka to makai, let’s conserve water

Sage Huston


Water, Our Most Precious Resource
Title Sponsor: Dept. of Water Supply
Short Film: Teen Trailblazers
The last drop

Solomon Highstein
Waiākea High School


Community Safety
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Police Department
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Don’t text and drive

Sereina Libby
Honoka‘a High & Intermediate School


Community Safety
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Police Department
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
You have one chance
Ethan Ng, Kiara Hamora, HeraKatherine Villegas,
and Miliani Bunghanoy-Aiu
Kealakehe High School


Community Safety
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Police Department
PSA: Emerging Creators
Text 911

Michael “Mikey” Evans


Community Safety
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Police Department
Short Film: Junior Visionaries
Toxic abusive friendships
Mikayla Abran
Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy



Community Safety
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Police Department
Short Film: Teen Trailblazers
Cardboard friendship
Janeea Bonoan, Angelica Bivings, Nyori Soriano, Alexus Bivings,  and Kamamalu Kauwe
Ka‘ū High School


Community Safety
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Police Department
Short Film: Emerging Creators
Move over

Michael “Mikey” Evans


Creating Peace
Sponsored by: Rotary Club of Hilo, Rotary Club of South Hilo
& Rotary Club Of Hilo Bay
Digital Art: Junior Visionaries
Creating peace
Iwalani Albert
Kea‘au Middle School


Creating Peace
Sponsored by: Rotary Club of Hilo, Rotary Club of South Hilo
& Rotary Club Of Hilo Bay
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Embracing differences, building peace

Ros Haleyah Mari Ascuncion Ganot
Pāhoa High & Intermediate School


Creating Peace
Sponsored by: Rotary Club of Hilo, Rotary Club of South Hilo
& Rotary Club Of Hilo Bay
PSA: Junior Visionaries
We need peace
Arthur “Pato” Cuahuizo Eggerth, Anthony Mangano, Keamalu Arruda Parsons, and Makoa Paikuli
Nā Wai Ola PCS



Creating Peace
Sponsored by: Rotary Club of Hilo, Rotary Club of South Hilo
Short Film: Emerging Creators
Beyond the fence line

Ka‘ū High School


Digital Equity
Sponsored by: Hawaiian Telcom
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Think twice before you post
Magdalena Madrid, Truedan White, and Dreyston Saltiban
Hilo High School

 


Disaster Preparedness 
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Grab & Go: Safety in a Synch

Cahara Stecher
Volcano School of Arts and Sciences


Disaster Preparedness 
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Prepare now, you silly goose

Riane Kealoha Emaymado
Hilo High School



Disaster Preparedness 
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency
Short Film: Teen Trailblazers
My friend, B.O.B.
Caydn Corpuz
Waiākea High School


Energy Resilience 
Sponsored by: Hawaiian Electric
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Resilient Energy

Quinn O’Farrell
Kea‘au Middle School



Energy Resilience 
Sponsored by: Hawaiian Electric
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Energy conservation
Bennett Hill, Makani Loper, and Adrian Rivera Gallegos
West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy


Fentanyl Awareness
Sponsored by: HI Fentanyl Task Force
Digital Art: Junior Visionaries
Be aware

Joshua Foronda
Kea‘au Middle School


Fentanyl Awareness
Sponsored by: HI Fentanyl Task Force
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Fentanyl kills
Haim Jeong
Kealakehe High School


Fentanyl Awareness
Sponsored by: HI Fentanyl Task Force
PSA: Junior Visionaries
A killer in disguise
Temple Conrad and Masamu Nakajima
Hilo Intermediate School


Fentanyl Awareness
Sponsored by: HI Fentanyl Task Force
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Fentanyl attack

Ceana Mae Agonoy and Jaxton Lindsey
West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy


Fentanyl Awareness
Sponsored by: HI Fentanyl Task Force
Short Film: Junior Visionaries
Take care of yourself
Anelaokalani Boyd, Cecelia Millan, Ayana McClintick,
Lunakane Hoewa‘a Fontanilla, and Kawena Francisco
Nā Wai Ola PCS



Financial Literacy
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Community FCU
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Financial planning for young adults

Keana Jade Subia, Maya Kaupu, Jansen Aaron Cabel, and Michael Angelo Juan
Kea‘au Middle School



Financial Literacy
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Community FCU
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Time is money
Isaiah Cho, Marlon Utrera, and Johnny Chun
Kealakehe High School


Financial Literacy
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Community FCU
PSA: Emerging Creators
Illuminate your financial future

Tevita Hala Latu
Hawai‘i Community College


Homeless Awareness
Sponsored by: HOPE Services Hawai‘i
Digital Art: Junior Visionaries
Homeless Awareness

Finley King
Kea‘au Middle School


Homeless Awareness
Sponsored by: HOPE Services Hawai‘i
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
The Chaos Within

Anela Monell, Taveea Lincoln-Smith, Aiden Ruddle-Schenk, and Jonathan Horst
Makua Lani Christian Academy


Homeless Awareness
Sponsored by: HOPE Services Hawai‘i
PSA: Junior Visionaries
The service project

Leonardo Giovannoni, Blayk Lott, and Makoa Lord-Alapai
Nā Wai Ola PCS



Homeless Awareness
Sponsored by: HOPE Services Hawai‘i
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Closer to looking beautiful

Angeline Agaran
Kealakehe High School


Homeless Awareness
Sponsored by: HOPE Services Hawai‘i
PSA: Emerging Creators
Creating Change in our Community

Sage Huston


Ocean Preservation
Sponsored by: Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR)
Digital Art: Junior Visionaries
Help save Hawaiian waters

Alea Gibson
Kea‘au Middle School


Ocean Preservation
Sponsored by: Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR)
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Fish pono, fish right
Waikiki Crabbe
Kamehameha Schools


Ocean Preservation
Sponsored by: Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR)
Digital Art: Emerging Creators
Save the Mermaids

Caylin Ziemelis


Ocean Preservation
Sponsored by: Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR)
PSA: Junior Visionaries
Protecting our oceans
Xavior Parayno
Ha‘aheo Elementary



Ocean Preservation
Sponsored by: Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR)
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Protect our oceans, all in one motion

Mei Kawakami and Duke Deguair
Kealakehe High School


Ocean Preservation
Sponsored by: Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR)
PSA: Emerging Creators
The ocean’s future, in our hands

Kamamalu Kauwe
Ka‘ū High School


Ocean Preservation
Sponsored by: Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR)
Short Film: Teen Trailblazers
Screening our efforts
June Wheeler
Kealakehe High School 


Safe Transportation 
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Dept. of Transportation
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Drive safely
Nafanua Fatu, Kea‘au High School


Safe Transportation 
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Dept. of Transportation
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
End distracted driving

Tyler Staub, Daysen Higa, and Auston Hocson
Waiākea High School
 


Safe Transportation 
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Dept. of Transportation
Short Film: Teen Trailblazers
Click it or ticket
Koko Marquis, Branden Walden, Merwin Pagar,
and Jordan Domingo
Kea‘au Middle School



Visit With Respect
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
Digital Art: Junior Visionaries
A respectful tourist will

Rylee Honda
Waiākea Intermediate School


Visit With Respect
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
Digital Art: Teen Trailblazers
Huaka‘i with Hōihi

Miliani Bunghanoy-Aiu
Kealakehe High School


Visit With Respect
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
PSA: Junior Visionaries
When you touch the land of my people

Tina Sumtsova
Abeka Academy


Visit With Respect
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
PSA: Teen Trailblazers
Leave it better than you found it
Naiya Bello-Schroeder, Temple Conrad, and Liliana Randolph
Hilo Intermediate School

 


Visit With Respect
Sponsored by: Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
Short Film: Emerging Creators
Guardian
Aiden Tyrin, Reef Kohara, Dakota Feliciano, and Mark Galeon