It would have been easy to disengage, to feel sorry for themselves for sport seasons that were lost, trips that never happened, and proms that were canceled, but that didn’t stop many of our Youth Council members from making a difference this spring.

Paige and Madeleine with HIPHI staff and interns volunteering at Meals on Wheels (Note, photo taken prior to masks being recommended for general public by the CDC)

Stephanie (Lānaʻi), Holly (Kauaʻi), Miriam and Mayra (Big Island), and Josh and Logan (Oʻahu) have been working to help create youth vaping cessation messages for social media. Noelle, Paige and Madeleine joined HIPHI staff on Oʻahu in packing meals for Meals on Wheels after their usual crew of volunteers who were high risk for COVID-19 could no longer assist. Noelle was also part of a HIPHI team that assisted with assembling face shields for health providers.

Winnie (an international exchange student from China, who just recently got involved with the Youth Council) and her family donated 10,000 masks. This allowed HIPHI to provide masks to community organizations in need of PPE. Some of the masks were sent to Lānaʻi and Molokai so Winnie and her family have truly made an impact statewide.

Despite the Youth Council’s largest event, Take Down Tobacco day at the state capitol, being cancelled in March, it’s exciting to see these students staying involved and helping their communities wherever possible. We look forward to seeing how they contribute in future.

Winnie with some of the disposable masks donated by herself and her family.

Noelle assembling face shields at NBC.