Congratulations to Distinguished Clubs 2023

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Drum roll!



  • Advisor- Elizabeth Shiraki
  • President- Jamir Ace Raquino
  • V-President- Vivian Marquez
  • Secretary- Jan Alexia Balleras
  • Treasurer- Neil Marquez
  • Historian- Novea Cerezo
  • Special Project Coordinator- Marc Garcia
This year, Farrington decided to focus their primary GAP on UNSDG #4: Quality Education. They also did a mini project for Toliet Day- SDG #6 informing their school community of the many complications experienced by people globally (and locally) for access to toilets, and running water- things some might take for granted.
For Quality Education, they studied multiple aspects of the issues in education from the inequalities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic to gender and education, and global models for education. Their club looked for organizations they would partner with to support education equity and settled on the Susannah Wesley Center, in Kalihi-Palama.
This Center- provides comprehensive social services dedicated to helping and empowering youths, adults and families (many of whom are newcomers to Hawaii) who have great social and economic challenges, to move towards self-sufficiency and independence. Their focus on addressing the unique challenges facing new immigrants who call Kalihi-Palama home was of great interest to this PAAC club.
The club worked at multiple events to sell personalized bracelets and necklaces” that were hand-stamped with a word of intention- “MyIntention.” The project helped the team develop their internal and external communication skills while raising funds for quality education initiatives serving their community.


  • Advisor- Shiloh Francis
  • Co-Presidents - Sophia Findley & Nerissa Garcia
  • Communications Officer- Vivian Latimer
  • Secretary- Isabella Na
This club studied four of the UN SDGs and created three community projects- GAPs in response to their learning.
For UNSDG #6- Clean Water a& Sanitation. They created a World Tolitet Day PSA (video)for their school community. In response to studying UN SDG #3- Good Health & Well Being and #10 Reduced Inequalities, helped them to better understand the importance of access to health and how health and education intersect- especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This resulted in their second GAP- creating a library for their elementary school- addressing UNSDG #4- Quality Education. Additionally, they worked with the first-grade students on a new “Kindness Garden” creating painted rocks with words of kindness and affirmation (photo files).
They continued their third annual child and family service collection drive, where we collected 492 items which exceeded last year's donations count of 260.
Overall these officers feel excited to see their community come together and double in size over the year. Club members are engaged and excited to contribute their learning to the betterment of their community.


  • Advisor- Justin Brown
  • Co-President- Julianne Colbath
  • Co-President- Eric Gee
  • Co-President- Sherry Jiang
  • Vice-President- Anna Payesko
  • PAAC Specialist- Sophia McIvor
  • Secretary- Emma Carrier
Performed a full student-led review of the 17 UNSDGs, where students create SDG projects to help others understand the work of the SDGs. 
This club's work is combined with the research and work of Model UN. They participated in two GAP projects that brought together students from neighboring schools to better understand the impact of policy on local, global, and national issues. 
For International Public Policy Forum, the 2022-23 topic was “Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an effective model for international cooperation,” they engaged four student teams to submit argumentative, team-written essays. One team, composed of Jahnea Ordona, Sherry Jiang, Andries Ferreira, and Mei Kanada, proceeded to the top 64 essays in the world! At their Civic Engagement and Policy Forum, they brought together students from Middle and High Schools to participate in debates about local, state, and global issues. 
Five teams participated in Academic WorldQuest this year and one team place second in the state at this competition!



  • Advisor- Vivian Martinez
  • President-Moises Salazar
Konawaena PAAC joined forces with their after-school class, their KoKua Lima service club, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, and Hope Services Hawaii and to take action and learn. They studied the SDGs -Life on Land #15, Life Below Water #14, and No Poverty #1 to better understand how they could make impact locally on these global goals.
They club, in partnership with Hawaii Wildlife Fund and KoKua Lima participated in a beach clean up at Kamilo Beach, which is heavily impacted by the plastics from the pacific gyer. They scooped up bags of trash and filtered the sands to capture microplastics. 
For Hope Services, prepared food for the homeless community here in Kailua Kona. This provided them with an opportunity to meet the people who are living housless in Kailua-Kona and to better understand their stories and their needs. 
For the Holidays, the club again partnered with the KoKua Lima Club to created crafted cards for people. Mahalo for serving the community of Kealakekua. 
  • Advisor- Alden Watts
  • President- Janice Cheng 
  • Vice President- Hannah Moses 
  • Secretary- Elena Hollenbeak 
  • Treasurer- Julie Wong 
  • Historian- Megan Burge
This outstanding team of students worked to bring together eight different projects that all connected to their school community - to encourage sustainable living by implementing sustainable practices in the school community through school events. They are very interested in connecting the UNSDGS with Aloha+ Challenge and worked in collaboration with other school clubs to host workshops, build community bulletin boards, hold fundraisers, host hot-coco days, care for their permaculture garden, as well as to provide service to their community at large through a field trip to the Loʻi patch at Ka Papa Loʻi O Kānewai.  
While studying the SDGs and the Aloha + Challenge goals, the club uplifted four international days for their school community: Human Right Day, International Education Day, World Wildlife Day, and Earth or Arbor Day. 

  • Advisor- Edith Middleton
  • President- Ryley Jackson
  • VP- Grace Wright 
  • Secretary- Summer DeRego
  • Social Media- Larrianne Joy Sanchez 
  • Treasurer- Wailele Bastien
This club of 27 students, worked to read 8 books this year that were connected with one or more of the 17 UNSDGs. They studied UNSDG 3, 9, 11, 14, and 16 and their discussions centered around “what roles we can play in our daily lives to bring about awareness and change. Inequality and gender bias were the most prominent of topics, along with indigenous cultural awareness.” 
The clubs GAP was a school level project to recognize and bring awareness to the historical and continuing injustices braved by indigenous peoples through the celebration of “Orange Shirt Day.” This day bring awareness about the Indian residential school system still impacting Native American communities in the United States and Canada. (Read more about Orange Day here)


  • Advisor- Janyce Omura
  • President- Taliah  Jahnay Cabatu
  • Vice President- Tseska Denyse Ocana
  • Secretary- Makana Kina
  • Treasurer- Jericho Pascua
  • Directory of Media Relations- Solea Fame Nono
  • Historian- Triston Lewis
Maui PAAC focused on understanding UNSDG #2- No Hunger, by learning about “the importance of local and global produced food and how it affects our ‘aina.” The club worked to build awareness of purchased items made to look like local items when they are not truly local.

Twenty club members prepared to compete in the Academic WorldQuest competition, as a result, club members felt closer to each other and “gained a current understanding of our world [issues] and what [they] could do to help maintain/change our ecosystems.”

  • Advisors- Belinda Toyama & Mark Denninghoff
  • President- Sarah Wells
  • Vice-President- Chelsea Uy
  • Secretary- Alexis Mals
  • Historian- Olivia Treme
  • Treasurer- Sydney Tom

Moanaluaʻs budding new club, focused on building community, attending PAAC events and completed one global action project. Their GAP focused on cleaning and replanting their school garden. This project aligns with the UNSDG #3- Good Health and Well Being as learning how plant your own vegetables can benefit your health. Being able to garden your own food gives you more control over the way it is grown, and you can keep out some of the harmful chemicals that some farmers use. In relation to Life on Land, SDG #15, this club plans a GAP to support the restoration of the Loko l'a Pa'aiau. This a fish pond located in Kalaua, 'Ewa, O'ahu (instag)

  • Advisors- Ivee Cruz & Paula Arias
  • Co-President - Emma Crago
  • Co-President - Sabina Funasaki
  • Social Media - Shen Kellogg

Punahouʻs new club is still getting their groove, but was able to participate in multiple PAAC events and pull off a Green Thumbs GAP in their first year. They focused on building community for their first year and found energy in preparing for Academic WorldQuest.

Their WorldQuest team, earned first place in Honolulu County prize level!

Learning about sustainable design while studying UNSDG #11- Sustainable Communities inspired their Green Thumb Hawai’i project. During Spring Break the club visited visited three different elementary (Unity, Wilson, Noelani) schools to teach elementary school kids about climate change and sustainability. They taught keiki how to plant their own corn plants (made seed kits from recycled tofu containers), and then did presentations on several different topics surrounding sustainability (eg. “Healthy Eating”, “Carbon Footprints”, “What is Climate Change?”).

  • President- Kelsea Cummings
  • Vice-President- Bayli Sober
  • Secretary- Lahina Nicely
  • Historian- Jaida McElreath
  • Treasurer- Kelis Crowley

Waialuaʻs PAAC Club focused on community and sustainability this year through the lens of three UNSDGs:  #12 SDG Responsible Consumption, #13 Climate Action, #14 Life Below Water. Their inquiry manifested in three Global Action Projects. 

In fall they participated and rallied their community for a beach clean up at Pounderʻs Beach in Laiʻe. At their school fair, they set up a table with donated items, in min condition: things like dresses, new hygiene items, books, small furniture, shirts, blankets.  “We also saved 1,000’s of gallons of water by upcycling clothes!”

After attending the March GVS: Voices of the Pacific at COP27- Climate Action, they decided to share the message of climate action with their school by doing class to class presentations. They shared the challenge of sea level rise for their community and recommended items that households should avoid using (#ban) due to their impacts on the environment.  This provided students with the opportunity to “evaluate their own lives. With doing that, they realized there are many [products they use] and [things they do] that are harming the climate.” Mahalo for supporting the North Shore community!