Vision Lab 2023

Semifinals Vision Lab 2023
Vision Lab Sponsors 23 VL

Click here for the full Vision Lab 2023 Program, which includes more information about the semifinalist project teams.

Thank you for partnering with us to engage, equip and empower young leaders for Hawaiʻi.

We all know that Hawaiʻi will need a new generation of leaders. Since the beginning, CTL has worked tirelessly to find and train over 3,000 young leaders. With programs on 5 islands and a fully-developed 10-year pipeline of leadership support, we are poised to be a true leader for Hawaiʻi.

This year, our alumni pledged “to restore hope in Hawaiʻi’s leadership, return home with many of their friends and be caretakers of the aloha spirit.” Let’s help them get there!

Together, we can expand CTL’s reach to 1,000 high school students each year and triple the number of alumni we empower through the Vanguard network.

CTL could not do this work without you - our supporters, mentors, and friends. Thanks for standing with us to believe that every young person has the potential to lead and that Hawaiʻi’s best days are ahead.

Project of the Year Awards

Year 1 Division: Schoolwide ImpactKalani High’s Aerodynamic Analytical Falcons - English Language Learners (ELL) Newcomers Club
Kalani Vision Lab 2023 AAF ELL
Year 2 Division: Community-wide ImpactWaiʻanae High’s Connect With Tech!
Waianae Connect with Tech Vision Lab 2023
Year 3 Division: Island-wide ImpactPearl City High’s Centerstage
Centerstage Pearl City Vision Lab 2023
Legacy Division: Island-wide ImpactRoosevelt Highʻs I Don't Dig Your Cig
I Don't Dig Your Cig Roosevelt Vision Lab
People's Choice Award

Kapolei Highʻs ʻŌhā Project

Oha Project Kapolei Vision Lab 2023

Year 1 Semifinalists

Schoolwide Impact

The Doormen

James Campbell High School
Topic: College Enrollment

When a group of sophomores learned that many of their peers at James Campbell High School didn’t want to pursue further education after graduation, they decided to do something about it. Titling themselves "The Doormen," their goal is to open doors of opportunity to a variety of post-graduation options. The students are gathering information about not only colleges and universities but trade schools and the military as well to showcase a variety of paths. They shared this information via fliers posted throughout the campus with the hope that other students will be informed about the possibilities in store.

HHS Student Center

Hilo High School
Topic: Study Spaces

In an effort to provide students with a designated study area after school, a group of high school students from Hilo High School Student Center partnered with their school's principal to open up the cafeteria on certain days throughout the week. This move is in response to the lack of designated study areas for students, which can be particularly challenging for those seeking a quiet place to focus or receive tutoring services. The team, which recognized the need for such a space, hopes to provide a creative hub where students can meet new people, and collaborate on projects.

AAF-ELL Newcomers Club

Kalani High School
Topic: Supporting English Language Learners

Aerodynamic Analytical Falcons (AAF) created the ELL Newcomers Club at Kalani High School. The purpose of the club is to help bridge the gap between ELL and general education students. Through club meetings, they have slowly welcomed their fellow peers into Kalani's culture and have formed friendships that will help raise their English proficiency.

Hoppaz in Hawaiʻi

Kapolei High School
Topic: Wildlife Conservation

James Wooderson has a passion for wildlife conservation, which includes the Hawaiʻi population of the rock wallaby. Introduced to Hawaiʻi in the mid-60s on a fluke, these animals have frequented the Kalihi and Mānoa valleys since then. In partnership with the Honolulu Zoo Society, James has been working on public awareness by handing out fliers and rallying others to the cause. There is also the push for better legislation to make sure that the wallabies, who help with the population control of invasive species, will be better protected.


Kohala High School
Topic: College Engagement

Kohala High School students receive college life opportunities too late in their high school careers. The advisors, counselors, and students believe that all classes, including juniors and sophomores, should be given equal opportunities and resources to prepare for life after high school. To address this issue, a group of 20 students visited Palamanui Community College for a campus tour and created ACT-prep packets and the Kohala High School's College Continuum Packet. They strive to see all students prepare for college without fear or doubt about their readiness after graduation.

Triple G

Maui High School
Topic: High School Transition

A group of high school sophomores found that many incoming freshmen were struggling to adapt to a new learning environment and therefore don’t create a strong foundation for a meaningful and successful high school career. To address this, they partnered with the freshmen guidance class teachers and hosted various class activities and discussions to facilitate connection. Through peer mentorship, the group was able to add and support over 100 freshmen. They are also providing a template for future guidance class teachers to use for the years to come. They hope to see incoming freshmen confident about their transition to 9th grade.

Project Pride

McKinley High School
Topic: School Pride

A group of students from McKinley High School, known as Project Pride, have identified a lack of school pride as a significant problem on campus. According to the 2022 StriveHi Survey, only 58% of students felt positive about their school. In response, the group has taken the initiative to create personalized birthday cards for students to deliver across campus as a way to show they care. Through their efforts, Project Pride aims to improve the overall student experience and foster a greater sense of unity in the school community.

Charger Up!

Pearl City High School
Topic: High School Transition

A group of sophomores from Pearl City High School has taken initiative to help incoming freshmen transition into high school smoothly. Known as “Charger Up,” they noticed that many middle school students struggled to make the leap to high school. To tackle this issue, they developed a “cheat sheet” that contains useful information about the campus, extracurricular activities, and academic support services. Their goal is to ensure that the Class of 2027 has a positive high school experience and is aware of all the amazing opportunities Pearl City High School has to offer. The group believes that this initiative will help every student succeed and avoid getting left behind.

Grateful Girlies

Roosevelt High School
Topic: Teacher & Staff Appreciation

A group of students wanted to show appreciation to the teachers and staff members of Roosevelt High School. They’ve taken teacher appreciation to a whole new level with their dedication and creativity. The girls have not only kept the teachers’ lounge stocked with snacks and goodies but they have also highlighted different staff noting their favorite movies and hobbies on fliers throughout the school. The students know the hard work that the staff and teachers put in every day and their goal is for them to know that they are seen and that what they do does not go unnoticed. The Grateful Girlies prioritize the well-being of the teachers and staff knowing that even something small like a snack or a flyer can make someone’s day.

Kako'o for Yo'o

Waipahu High School
Topic: Academic Spaces

Waipahu High School students are hoping to revitalize their school's library after interviews and research showed that many students were unaware of its existence or that its hours were too limited to be useful. The Kako'o for Yo'o team, made up of sophomores, partnered with the librarian and principal to make the library more accessible to all students throughout the week, allowing for after-school study and other activities. The group is planning a grand opening event to encourage more students to make use of the space and hopes to see an increase in library attendance as a result.

Aspiring Attitude Achievers

Waiakea High School
Topic: Student Positivity

The Aspiring Attitude Achievers are taking on a big challenge - tackling negative attitudes towards school. The group has created a series of inspiring videos filled with tips and tricks for staying positive throughout the day, which will be featured on the school's morning announcements. They also plan to start a podcast featuring students and staff to build a sense of community on campus. The Aspiring Attitude Achievers are taking proactive steps to promote a more positive school culture at Waiakea High School.

Year 2 Semifinalists

Community-Wide Impact

Don't Ewa Smoke

James Campbell High School
Topic: Underaged Vaping

Don’t Ewa Smoke is a group of James Campbell High School AVID students. This project is a branch of the I Don’t Dig Your Cig Legacy Project. The plan is to follow the curriculum with high school students and have them create posters and videos about the effects of vaping and share them with the feeder schools of James Campbell High School. Through this they hope to shed light on the consequences of vaping.

ʻŌHĀ Project

Kapolei High School
Topic: Sustainability Education

A group of juniors at the Ho’ola Academy at Kapolei High School saw the need for younger elementary students to learn about natural sustainability. Due to their experience with learning about sustainability through the Ho’ola leadership program, these students reached out to different elementary schools within their area, with the intent to share about their program and sustainability with different grade levels. The students have been meeting with two schools several times to be able to share their mana’o and get the students excited to learn about sustainability.

Families are Beautiful

Kohala High School
Topic: Community Values

As proud Kohala students, they noticed that young people in their community were losing the family values that were once prominent in Kohala. Values such as respect and kindness towards others, laughter, and trust were lacking in their community. To address this issue, they hosted an art contest with Kohala Elementary School called, "Families are Beautiful." Students, along with their families, worked together to create a picture that represented their favorite family memory. Winners were chosen and given prizes and all the entries were posted around the Kohala community. Their hope is that by giving students the opportunity to spend time talking with their families they can preserve their values.


Topic: Community Health
Maui High School

A group of juniors discovered that access to healthcare on the island of Maui is limited due to a shortage of healthcare professionals for various reasons. Rather than focusing on the usual recruitment programs, the students decided to tackle the issue in a unique way by improving the overall well-being of the community. To achieve this, they organized a lively Zumba session at Pomaika’i Elementary and invited relatives and friends to participate. By encouraging the community to prioritize their health, the students hope that over time, there will be a reduction in medical interventions, giving hospitals and clinics more time to recruit adequate staff. In summary, this approach aims to address the root cause of the problem by promoting preventive measures and community engagement.


McKinley High School
Topic: Support Small Businesses

Last year, a group of juniors launched an innovative project, Tiger Closet, to tackle student attendance issues. The project, which involved creating a student-led campus store, incentivized students to attend school through a rewards program. This year, the students aim to broaden their impact by supporting local small businesses in their community. As a part of their plan, they will offer coupons to student participants that can be redeemed at a neighboring business, boosting the inventory of Tiger Closet and bringing business to a local shop. The students' mission is twofold: to improve attendance on campus and bolster the local economy by backing small businesses.

Witness the Fitness

Pearl City High School
Topic: Kupuna Engagement

This project started when they got the news about the pool closure at Pearl City District Park from the Neighborhood Board minutes. It has been years since the pool has been open for the community to use. After some research, the students thought about the effect of having the pool closed. They thought about how the kupuna in the community lost one of their main ways to stay active when the pool shut down. The students are partnering up with Manana District Park and helping coordinate walks for the kupuna in the community. While the future of the PCDP pool is unclear, the Chargers hope that they can keep our kupuna active with walks around the park.

We Got You Covered

Waimea High School
Topic: Homelessness

Waimea High School students observed that Hawai'i is no longer a tropical paradise and recognized the pressing need to address homelessness in the area. Approximately 20 homeless individuals, including children, have resorted to pitching tents or parking their vehicles along a beachfront home in Waimea. In response, the students have decided to support the Catholic Charities Hawai'i Organization by assembling care packages for distribution at their facility. Additionally, the students plan to donate essential items to Nana's House to further aid those on the west side. As proud members of the Waimea Menehune community, they strive to see their fellow community members happy, healthy, and sheltered.

Connect with Tech!

Waiʻanae High School
Topic: Kupuna Tech

A group of Waiʻanae High School students partnered with the Waianae Public Library to provide a service to learn how to use technology. The library Branch Manager, Sheryl Lynch, wanted to create a program providing the kupuna with one-to-one support to use technology and the internet effectively. Students went to the library once a week on Wednesdays during their period 4 class with the guidance of their teacher, Mrs. Muranaka. The students completed their last session with the kupuna, and the feedback they received was filled with joy and gratitude for the help. As Waianae Seariders, they will empower our kupuna with the ability to use technology effectively.

The Anti-Silent Killer

Waipahu High School
Topic: Anti-Vaping Education

It seems most adolescents nowadays choose the wrong path in their life and make wrong decisions about their drug usage. As a branch of the I Don't Dig Your Cig legacy project, this group of Waipahu High School students delivered an anti-vaping curriculum to Waipahu Intermediate School about the effects and consequences of vaping. As Marauders, they want to educate Hawaiʻi’s next generation about the effects of e-cigarette use along with the ramifications of e-cigarette addiction.

Year 3 Semifinalists

Island-Wide Impact


Pearl City High School
Topic: Supporting Small Businesses

A group of seniors from Pearl City High School discovered that small businesses in Hawaiʻi are facing significant challenges in keeping their doors open after the pandemic. The businesses are struggling due to the increasing costs and regulations that vary from an array of taxes and operating costs. The seniors were passionate about supporting the local mom-and-pop shops and decided to gather stories from business owners about their struggles. They interviewed various businesses across O’ahu and compiled their responses into a comprehensive business report to share with stakeholders advocating for policy changes that would support the interests of small business owners.

Think Again

Pearl City High School
Topic: Educated Electorate

A group of seniors at Pearl City High School has recognized a crucial issue with modern-day politics. They have noticed that many young voters are heavily dependent on social media to make informed decisions about voting. These seniors have taken the initiative to make a difference by creating a comprehensive website. This website will provide an array of resources and information that is useful in making a well-informed decision when choosing a candidate. Their aim is to encourage their peers to think more critically about their choices and not heavily rely on social media for voting guidance. With this, they hope to cultivate an educated electorate for generations to come.

Sitting at your Feet

Waipahu High School
Topic: Kupuna Respect

Their goal is to gather stories of kupuna from around Hawaiʻi and create a website that showcases their stories for others to learn and hear about. They want to connect the younger generations to older generations as they believe the kupuna hold valuable and meaningful stories and advice. Kupuna have been a vital part of Hawaiʻi and taking the time to learn about their part and life enables them to form a voice in our community. Ultimately, their website will honor our kupuna and carry on their legacy. The stories of those before us will not be forgotten. To gather stories of kupuna they sought out care homes, students and teachers, and other members of the communities.

HECO Helpers

Waipahu High School
Topic: Kupuna Respect

The HECO Helpers project is aimed to help Hawaiian Electric Company employees to be prepared in case of emergencies. By providing marketing ads/videos, they hope HECO employees, and also the people of Hawaiʻi, will take the time to prepare for emergencies, such as a hurricane. Helping HECO employees be prepared will cause less stress for them in their personal lives. Because they are frontline workers, knowing that their families are cared for will free them to focus on getting Hawaiʻi up and running following any emergency event.

Legacy Projects

Legacy projects have carried on for more than one school year and have island-wide impact

I Donʻt Dig Your Cig

Roosevelt High School
Topic: Anti-Vaping Education

Logan Otani and Melani Cabanero started I Don’t Dig Your Cig in 2021 with the hope of seeing vaping disappear from the middle school scene. Vaping was taking the world by storm and they weren’t going to stand by and watch. The juniors taught the negative effects of vaping in middle school classrooms and now as seniors, are equipping other high schoolers across the state to do the same in their areas. These girls aren’t just equipping them with teaching materials and skills but instilling a passion and drive to see change, inspiring students and adults alike.


Kapolei High School
Topic: Native Plant Restoration

With the number of native species of plants that are being threatened in Hawaiʻi's ecosystem, this group decided to do something about it. This group of students is a legacy project, born from the Malamalama Palehua group project of 2019-2020. This group of students from the Hoʻola Academy at Kapolei High School has been partnering with the Malama learning center to help native plants repopulate in different areas on the island. The plan consists of using their school nursery to grow native plant species and then donating them and planting them at restoration sites around the island.