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Society -- Nisei Veterans Endowed Forum Series
Universal Values for a Democratic Society -- Nisei Veterans Endowed
Twice annually, persons of international, national, or local stature
serve as keynote speakers at forums addressing issues related to
the topic of values. Forum panelists and audience members engage
in roundtable discussions about the topic. The audience, like the
speakers, is diverse with respect to ethnicity, culture, age, gender,
religion, and political affiliation. University scholars, as well
as community resource people, participate in the audience discussions
and serve as roundtable leaders. To ensure program effectiveness
beyond the forums themselves, the following activities have been
incorporated into the program:
Proceedings from each forum are produced and the events are videotaped
as tools for future learning. These resources are available to groups
Curriculum materials will be created for use by K-12 teachers statewide.
The materials can be used independently in the classroom by teachers
or accompanied by the videotape and published proceedings. These
initiatives will greatly enhance “character education”
efforts currently taking place in Hawaii’s schools.
A volunteer speakers bureau including community members and Nisei
veterans has been established to speak to K-12 students upon request.
VALUES FOR LIFE Essay Contest
What is this contest about?
The VALUES FOR LIFE Essay Contest invites Hawaii’s high school
students to express in their own words the basic values, ideals,
and principles by which they live and according to which they select
the right things to do. The contest will challenge students to think
and write about core ethical values that guide them now and may
eventually guide them for the rest of their lives.
Who can enter the contest?
The contest is open to students in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 who are
enrolled in public or private schools in Hawai'i.
What are the benefits to be derived from participation
in this contest?
The essay contest provides an opportunity for schools to engage
students in meaningful dialogue with their peers, teachers, and
other adults about an important topic. It also offers students the
chance to improve their writing skills and an opportunity to write
for a public audience. Most importantly, it will encourage them
to look within themselves, reflect upon their past and current experiences,
and determine which values are most important for living well within
a democratic society.
Past Essay Winners: (click on names to read their
Yuen, Sacred Hearts Academy
Owan, Kamehameha Schools Maui
Tosatto, Sacred Hearts Academy
Weidenbach, Waialua High and Intermediate
Schlaich, Pearl City High School
Nguyen, Aiea High School
place—Caitlin P. Godwin, 'Iolani School
2nd place—Nicole Antonio, 'Iolani School
3rd place—Casey Fern, Ho'ala School
place—Thanh-Tam Huynh, Aiea High School
2nd place—Jennifer Lam, Aiea High School
1st place—Maria Robben, Sacred Hearts Academy
2nd place—Kristina Sault, Sacred Hearts Academy
3rd place—Colton Stewart, Hoala School
1st place—Rachel Hu, Hawai‘i Baptist Academy
2nd place—Melissa Higa, Hawai‘i Center for the Deaf
3rd place—My Phung, Kaimuki High School
1st place—Katherine Ashley Wooldridge, Radford High School
2nd place—Ramon Christopher Go, Radford High School
3rd place—Megan Jen, Kaimuki High School
1st place—Sherrita Benjamin, Radford High School
2nd place—Megan Fox, Radford High School
3rd place—Zachary Thielen, Waimea High School
Past Essay Questions:
2008: Today we are facing challenges in every field, be it
education, business, government, religion, or health. These
challenges include such examples as equity and relevance, fraud,
domestic and international crises, diminution or excess of faith,
global warming, or lack of access. Identify a specific
challenge, either one from the list above or one of your own, and
then characterize the kind of leader--in skills and values--who
would be effective in meeting that challenge. Tell why this
challenge is significant and explain the relationship between the
leader’s characteristics and the requirements of this challenge.
007: The world has been growing ever smaller. It is not unusual for people to move several times--sometimes
across national boundaries--during their lifetimes. This is true of the Pacific area as well: The theme for Hokulea's
2007 voyage to Micronesia and Japan is "one ocean, one people." What values are essential and common to living in a
multi-cultural society that is characterized by peace and social justice? Provide examples that support your ideas.
2006: VALUES FOR LIFE are those principles and ideals that help guide one to do the right things.
Interaction with people who are different, or we feel are different, from ourselves--because of appearance,
gender, ethnicity, background, sexual orientation, status, viewpoints or behavior--may produce challenges,
including the questioning of our values. Write about such an interaction and its positive or negative
effects upon living in accordance with values important in a democratic society.
2005: In your life, you have made many choices. Sometimes, choosing
is easy, especially when the alternatives are black and white, right
or wrong. But its a different story when the options are both viable
or acceptable. Then you are called on to think things through and
exercise moral courage before deciding. Decribe a time when you
faced such a difficult decision and tell how you came to the right
choice for you.
2004: Insuring our national security while preserving our democratic
values continues to be a national issue. What democratic values
are important as we consider national security and people's safety?
How can we effectively address both concerns?
2003: VALUES FOR LIFE are those principles and ideals that help
guide one to do the right thing. What value(s) for life has helped
you or someone else to overcome adversity? In what ways or under
what circumstances has having that value(s) helped in meeting the
challenges posed by the adversity?
2002: VALUES FOR LIFE are those principles and ideals that help
guide one to do the right thing. Think of someone you admire. What
value for life does that person demonstrate? How has that person
influenced your values for life?
2001: What are the values in my life that help guide me to do the