Kahua Waiwai ‘Opio Edition

Organization Name:
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
Kahua Waiwai ‘Opio (Youth) Edition is an innovative youth financial education program and partnership for its student workbook design, created by young leaders ages 12-17 years old in the State of Hawai‘i. It is a 156-page curriculum workbook designed “by teens for teens.” It highlights their brilliant ideas to effectively communicate with other teenagers, and features their skills using Adobe software, which were made possible by donation through TechSoup. The young leaders created rough draft sketches of page layouts, typography styles, headline treatments, color usage, and relatable graphic imagery. Each student developed a character per chapter and the final chapter features all of the characters working together in culmination and community. The team of students finished their illustrations and colorful cover design using the combination of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The page layouts and production of the duo-tone colored page spreads were completed using InDesign.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
In traditional times, Native Hawaiian people thrived in a very advanced unified culture with a sophisticated system of resource management. They relied on the expertise, skills, and hard work of everyone to provide for the needs of the community. Each self-sustaining community promoted conservation of the land and the passing on of “community wealth” to future generations. These basic concepts have faded into the background of modern Hawai‘i, replaced by over consumption and the idea of “individual wealth” and personal gain. The introduction of western ways has impacted and forever changed the economics of the original inhabitants way of life. Today, Native Hawaiians experience a high rate of poverty and low-income households, and a low count of home ownership in their own homeland. The overall need for the student workbook design was to capture traditional and cultural values of the Native Hawaiians while effectively teaching the next generation life skills and financial education.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
Over the past 18 months, the youth financial education program has been well received by over 50 communities throughout Hawai‘i. Almost 2,000 youths and young adults have been taught financial literacy through the culturally appropriate curriculum and program. The colorful and youthful creativity of the student workbooks has made the topic fun, effective and user friendly for participating students. Testimonies from individuals range from youths writing resumes and getting jobs, to teenagers starting bank accounts, and financial plans for long-term goals. After using the Adobe softwares, a student designed their school’s basketball t-shirt design, and another youth interned with another nonprofit to assist in their booklet design and production. Thanks to the donations program with TechSoup, the empowering, creative, and professional software by Adobe were made affordable for our non-profit organization, and in turn made it available to our participating young leaders!