The Hawaii State Teachers Association’s Human and Civil Rights Committee is seeking nominations for its 2021 Pono and Friend of Youth Awards. Nominations must be submitted by Feb. 22, 2021.

Pono Award

This award recognizes an exceptional member who advocates on social justice issues that impact the lives of students, fellow educators, and the community. Nominees must be principal organizers of campaigns or actions to address social justice issues such as, but not limited to: immigration reform, school-to-prison pipeline, equity in education, LGBTQ bias and issues, English-language learner advocacy, racial profiling, voter suppression and/or rights, and bullying.

Who can be nominated: Any active HSTA member in good standing with at least two years of membership.

Who can submit a nomination: Anyone!

What you need to do:

Submit a nomination online that includes the following:

  • A detailed description of the activity or activities and the nominee’s direct involvement and capacity. Must not exceed four (4) pages, double-spaced.
  • Nominee statement: Address the nominee’s social justice engagement within schools or the community, and explain the importance of this work and impact on the lives of students. Must not exceed two (2) pages, double-spaced.

These next elements are optional, but encouraged to strengthen your nomination:

  • Optional: Letter of recommendation, typewritten unless submitted by a student.
  • Optional: Nominee’s resume.
  • Optional: Additional supporting materials, such as news clippings, flyers, photos, etc.

Deadline: Feb. 22, 2021

Note: Applications are being processed via Google Form, and you will need to sign into a Google Account to view it. We recommend gathering all elements of your nomination before starting an online submission.

The nomination window has closed.

Nominees will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Social justice advocacy that includes direct involvement, capacity and degree of involvement.
  • Impact on the community, including the number of people touched or involved, and benefit to the community.
  • Role and influence as the principal organizer of a campaign or action.
  • Outcome and/or perpetuity of this campaign or action.

The recipient of this award will be submitted as HSTA’s nominee to the National Education Association Social Justice Activist of the Year Award.

A look back at our 2020 Pono Award winner:

Ilima Intermediate STEM teacher Sarah “Mili” Milianta-Laffin has been the faculty sponsor for the Rainbow Royales, Ilima Intermediate’s gender and sexuality alliance, since 2018. Her students were named 2020 GSA of the Year by GLSEN, a national organization that promotes safe and inclusive schools for all students. During the coronavirus pandemic, she supported internet access for families in remote and underserved areas, and printed personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and health care workers. Read More >

Friend of Youth Award

This award recognizes an outstanding individual who works to support Hawaii’s youth. Nominees must be involved in a youth-oriented activity outside of his or her professional duties, dedicate time and service to this cause, and demonstrate significant impact on youth.

Who can be nominated: A community member who is not currently an active HSTA member.

Who can submit a nomination: Nominations must be submitted by HSTA members only.

What you need to do:

Submit a nomination online that explains the nominee’s:

  • Involvement in a youth-oriented activity outside of their professional duties (please specify the activity, degree of involvement, etc.).
  • Impact on Hawaii’s youth e.g. how many keiki are affected, the benefit they receive as a result of the nominee’s actions.
  • Volunteer hours and length of service.
  • Facilities, resources, and/or equipment that were either donated by the nominee, or made available due to the nominee’s actions.

Deadline: Feb. 22, 2021

Note: Applications are being processed via Google Form, and you will need to sign into a Google Account to view it. You will have the option of submitting your answers directly in the form or uploading a file of no more than two (2) pages to address the requested criteria.

The nomination window has closed.

Nominees will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Involvement in a youth-oriented activity outside of their professional duties.
  • Impact on Hawaii’s youth.
  • Time and service.
  • Use of facilities, resources and/or equipment.

A look back at our 2020 Friend of Youth Award winner:

Scot Yamashita has been volunteering as an AYSO soccer coach for 14 years. He was nominated by Sharel Kasai, a Webling Elementary School teacher and Central Chapter member. Kasai says Yamashita has guided more than a thousand players over the years, not just as a coach but as a mentor who instills strong values in his athletes. Read More >

If you have any questions, please submit a contact form here.