Social Spark program helps build next generation of ‘ōiwi digital creators

Sept. 12, 2023

This past June to July marked a new chapter for Kamehameha Schools and its students, as five enthusiastic haumāna embarked on a transformative journey through the inaugural Social Spark fellowship program. Designed to bridge a connection between the classroom and the spirit of ʻĀina Pauahi, this program nurtured young minds in a controlled and safe setting for social media, digital content development, and entrepreneurship. 

Guided by a constellation of industry experts, the students delved into the intricacies of content creation, learning to weave narratives that celebrate the essence of Kapālama Kai, Windward Mall ma He‘eia, Our Kaka‘ako, and Haleʻiwa Store Lots in historic Hale‘iwa town. These young sparks, ignited by their industry-leading guest speakers Ashlyn Pierceall @ashlynpierceall, Thomas Obungen @thomasohhh, Olena Heu @olenaheu, Andrew Tran @_andrewtran, and Taylor Date @townie.tay, helped to stoke their creativity, turning their insights into social media gems that would shine across the digital landscape. 

As the six-week program unfolded, these haumāna ventured beyond classroom walls, exploring the vibrant landscape of ʻĀina Pauahi and the capabilities of sharing our mo‘olelo through social media. They learned online engagement strategies and the wisdom of being pono – respectful and mindful – in their virtual interactions. Guided by digital content professionals, our haumāna experienced real-life scenarios to becoming social media professionals. They navigated the nuances of client relationships, ‘Āina Pauahi research, and turned their mana‘o into active social content for Kamehameha Schools’ commercial properties.  

Their achievements were a testament to their dedication, rewarded by an incentive structure that mirrored their growth. But more than accolades, they carried forth a deepened connection – from their beloved campus to the legacy of ʻĀina Pauahi. 

And so, in the pixels and posts, in the friendships forged and the ʻike gained, the essence of Kamehameha Schools merged harmoniously with the spirit of ʻĀina Pauahi, echoing the journey of these young minds as they grew from students to stewards of tradition, culture, and innovation. 

The story of this summer, etched in digital ink, will forever remind us of the power of connection, growth, and the boundless potential within each haumāna. 

Social Spark mentors and haumāna. From left to right: Ashlyn Pierceall (guest speaker), Leslie Cariaga (Refinery Creative), Camryn Alomar KSK’27, Logan Houghtailing KSK’23, Matthew Liu KSK’23, Kealiʻikūpono “Scotty” Dikilato KSK’23, and Drew Kanoa KSK’23