Challenge Day Brings Change


Kylie Butler, Reporter

Two days in October has strengthened relationships and changed many NHIS students, staff, and community members through the Challenge Day activity held on October 23 and 24.

Challenge day was brought to NHIS to help many students, staff, and the community unify and allow them to see things in a new light.

“Challenge day is a way for us to bring our students, our community, and our staff together to address and understand some of the issues that happen here on campus as well as off campus and in the community,” said Ami Akeo Middle School Assistant Principal.

I also got closer to people that I really didn’t know which was really weird because I don’t usually like to get closer to a lot of people.”

— Kaialohia Beaver, Ninth Grader

Participants participated in various activities that help break down walls, bond participants together, and to share personal stories that helped bring a new perspective about each other.

“My favorite part was getting to understand the problems that families went through. Imagining myself in their footsteps,” said Kaleohano.

“I honestly believe that it’s to address a lot of issues that students face and like helpful ways to deal with those in a positive way and also to do some inside reflecting as well,” said Diana Agor High School Assistant Principal.

When it came to picking the participants, there were differences between the middle school and Freshmen. For the middle school, the selection process was aimed at a specific group first, then was opened to others.

Akeo said, “What we did for the seventh and eighth graders is we first started with a targeted group of students. All of our after-school students were first on the list, they were automatically given a spot to participate and then from there we had our grade levels go through their list and recommend students that they wanted.”

For Freshmen, in order to be able to participate, they had to meet a certain level of requirements.

”For ninth grade, we followed the criteria of challenge day so they set up the criteria. They wanted to look at students grades, their attendance, their behavior, and they wanted a wide variety. They didn’t want all the A students, they didn’t want all the naughty kids they wanted a wide variety, we had to look at each kid individually and choose and at the end, we actually went random. We just started pulling names to take because we wanted to fill every slot, we had a limited number of slots and I didn’t want to waste a single one that we had,” said Agor.

Some of the activities that students took part in involved the idea of family.

Macey Kaleohano Freshman said, ”We were put into small family groups and in those family groups we discussed if we knew each other. Like secrets that we would be holding in and that we don’t want to tell, we would tell our small family groups.”

A challenge that some of the community volunteers faced was getting everyone on board with the idea.

Allen Cardines Challenge Day Coordinator said, “The most challenging thing was getting the support to make this happen. I’m grateful for Ms. Akeo that saw the vision. Getting the principal and the composers to bulletin board and everyone else just getting to buy-in from the administration that was the beginning. Also getting community support so we got a number of community leaders here to support this event.”

The weather created some provoking issues for the event.

“Most challenging thing, is for me anyway was the logistics, we had a storm on Monday, the library was leaking it was just stressing us out. We almost had to cancel, we almost had to relocate it,” said Agor.

The coordination of the event also created some challenges.

Akeo said, “Well coordination is always very challenging, it takes a lot of planning, and a lot of meeting time. I don’t know that there is one specific thing it was definitely a group effort and we just all kind of did our part to make it happen.”

Some of the benefits were being able to see everyone in a more vulnerable light.

“I think the benefits of that is it humanizes everything that we do. You get to just share and the experience is a common experience that we can talk about forever. It’s almost like an emotional healing process,” Agor said.

Some of the people that were able to participate in the event were thankful for the experience.

Akeo said, “Well the benefits are really yet to come. I mean we’re going to kind of see the benefits from our students, from our community partners, as well as our staff but I can tell you right now that a lot of the teachers, as well as the kids sharing, is that they are very thankful for this opportunity.”

Students were changed in ways that allowed them to be happier.

Cardines said, “They didn’t want to go in they were hanging their faces. One of the benefits I saw within the first break and then lunch break, they were smiling. Something happened,  something happened in there that made a difference in their lives.”

Due to this program, students were able to see each other in a new way and experience new things.

“It was very eye-opening; like how some people have lives that we don’t usually know about and it’s bad to assume things because some people have been through so much. I also got closer to people that I really didn’t know which was really weird because I don’t usually like to get closer to a lot of people,” said Kaialohia Beaver Freshman.

Not only did Challenge Day have an impact on students, it also had an impact on the teachers and faculty.

“To me, I see some powerful positive changes, not only in the students but even the adults because one of the adults told me that we need this as well so I think it’s a powerful thing. Its helping people feel value through love,” said Cardines.