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Young Filmmakers Speak Up in Hawaii

Recently, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii - Nanakuli Clubhouse’s Young Filmmakers Program has attracted attention throughout the state of Hawaii. The program provides youth ages 8-12 with experience handling video equipment, creating storyboards, researching community issues, and producing videos. The program aims to increase participants’ academic success through several key components of the weekly session that include writing, research, and hands-on learning with technology.

The Club has partnered with Nanaikapono Elementary School, located right next door to the Clubhouse, for the past two years to compete in the statewide ‘Ōlelo Youth Exchange (YXC) video competition. ‘Ōlelo (which in Hawaiian means “to speak”) empowers student voice by airing every student entry on cable television and over the internet. The competition promotes student voices and perspectives around learning, health, the environment, and much more. All entries must focus on an issue that affects the immediate community, Hawaii, or the world. This year the entry from the Nanakuli Clubhouse addressed “The Effects of Cigarettes”. Over 900 videos from across the island were submitted to this year’s competition and the Club’s entry, created by 6th graders Leimomi N., Kekai S. and Lucas C., was chosen as a finalist!

Through the creative and powerful medium of video, the Club members gained self-confidence, were part of something bigger than themselves, and learned the value and importance of speaking out on issues that concern youth. Club staff member, Solomon Alfapada shared, "The greatest impact of the Young Filmmakers Program on our youth is that they can harness their creativity. Youth can take their thoughts and bring it into existence through digital media."