Students Abigail Mae Calara, Christian-Elijah Peebles, Ryssa-Jean Edayan, Jerahmeel Cabahit, and Robin Bucaneg received the Student Silver Award for Animation and Special Effects at the 2017 Pele Awards, under the direction of Michael O’Connor, the head of Waianae High School’s prestigious Searider Productions and a UH West Oahu Creative Media lecturer.
The Pele Awards is a one of fifteen National District Competitions for the American Advertising Awards, the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries every year from local American Advertising Federation (AAF) Clubs competitions from across the United States. The mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising and design.
The students, who won silver for “What Goes in the Ocean,” are participating in an early college collaborative effort between the Academy for Creative Media at University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu (UHWO ACM) and Waiʻanae High School’s Searider Productions (WHS SP). Students who are part of the WHS SP and choose to take part in this program have the opportunity to fulfill their high school graduation requirements while simultaneously earning college credits from UHWO. Students participating in the program will be granted provisional acceptance into UHWO. Successful completion of the program will not only guarantee admission into UHWO ACM, but also ensure that participating students will have already completed more than the first year requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, with a focus in Creative Media.
The Ala I Ka Holomua: Pathway to Success Program has been designed to reduce this disparity in education, and decrease the level of poverty in the Waiʻanae district. The program is designed to foster college and career readiness, as well as afford students educational opportunities that will not only make them viable in a competitive job market, but also cultivate in them the skills necessary to succeed as individuals.
The Waiʻanae High students are entitled to the same privileges as the students enrolled in UHWO ACM. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of the Roy & Hilda Takeyama Creative Media Lab, access to the Master Classes, as well as the academic resources of the UHWO. Students who successfully complete the course sequencing for the Ala I Ka Holomua: Pathway to Success Program will be guaranteed admission into UHWO ACM.