KS Kapālama seniors recognized at Legislature for civic engagement

Jan. 23, 2019

Contributed by Nadine Lagaso

Eight KS Kapālama High School seniors were recently recognized by State House Majority Leader Rep. Della Au Belatti for exercising their civic duty by voting in the last election. Belatti praised the haumāna for encouraging young people to be civically engaged, during her remarks on opening day of the Legislature.

The seniors were part of the student-led “Get Out the Vote” campaign last fall, aimed at encouraging voter registration and voting among haumāna. The school-sanctioned campaign culminated with a huaka‘i to Honolulu Hale where the students cast their votes for the first time.

“Civic engagement is key to making our community a better place to live,” said KSK senior Connor Kalahiki who spearheaded the “Get Out the Vote” campaign. “Elected officials decide the future of our state. That is why it’s so important to encourage young Hawaiians to vote.”

Kalahiki will attend Brown University in the fall to pursue a degree in environmental law. He plans to return to Hawai‘i after earning his juris doctorate, to give back to the ‘āina.

In addition to attending opening day of the Legislature, the students had the opportunity to meet their respective state representatives.

“It is so important to teach our young people how to be civically engaged and to do more for their communities,” said KSK Student Leadership and Activities Director Andrew Lai, who provided guidance to the students. “While we teach pockets of civic engagement in school, I think this campaign gave us an opportunity to branch out. I think that we’ve started something that will hopefully extend well beyond just eight students, next year.”