For Immediate Release: January 12, 2021
Council to announce student winners of the ‘Imi Pono Challenge on Friday
WAILUKU, Hawai‘i—The Maui County Council will announce the winners of the ‘Imi Pono Challenge at Friday’s council meeting, which starts at 9 a.m., Chair Alice L. Lee announced today.
The ‘Imi Pono Challenge for middle school and high school students was initiated by the council to harness bold and innovative ideas for bolstering Maui County’s economy. Lee said the first-, second- and third-place winners will be revealed in a ceremonial resolution and awarded valuable prizes donated by business and community leaders.
“As we continue to deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, new directions and opportunities are clearly needed in Maui County,” Lee said. “Who better than our youth to help us seek the right way, or ‘imi pono, as we strive toward a more diverse, prosperous and sustainable future.”
The Challenge garnered 175 entries from students across the county, representing home schools and the following middle and high schools:
- Haleakala Waldorf School
- Iao Intermediate School
- Kalama Intermediate School
- Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle School
- Montessori School of Maui
- Sacred Hearts School
- Hawaii Technology Academy
- Kamehameha Schools Maui High School
- King Kekaulike High School
- Lanai High & Elementary School
- Maui High School
- Maui Preparatory Academy
- Molokai High School
Students were asked to submit an application and a final project detailing their product, service or innovation in any industry or sector, Lee said. Submissions were judged by an esteemed panel including: Keiki-Pua Dancil, senior vice president of Pūlama Lāna’i; Sophia Davis, a 2018 Kihei Charter School graduate who helped build ventilators for Maui Memorial Medical Center; Everett Dowling, president of Dowling Company, Inc.; Mitzi Toro, also known as “The Maui Cookie Lady”; Pamela Tumpap, president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce; and Rob Weltman, chairperson of Sierra Club Maui Group.
“It was impressive to see so much imagination and inventiveness from our young people,” Lee said. “From housing to health care, agriculture and the arts, their ideas and concerns for the community were truly inspiring.”
Friday’s council meeting announcing the ‘Imi Pono Challenge winners will be broadcast on Akaku Channel 53 and on the Maui County Council’s Facebook page. For more information on the contest or council meeting agenda, please visit MauiCounty.us.