“We have to gather all the information available to choose the best person. I likened gathering information as being prepared to study in school. When I am equipped with the proper mindset to listen and study with textbooks and school supplies, I am able to excel,” Kuyo said. “The same goes for voting.”
When she turns 18, Kuyo said, “I am going to make sure that I never miss that opportunity (to vote).”
Participating in the calendar art contest opened Kuyo’s eyes and gave her a deeper appreciation for America’s democratic process. “It is amazing,” she exclaims. “I am grateful for this right as a citizen because what really matters to me is my education. If we do not vote, we are basically giving our future away, which for me at this time in my life, is my education.
“I know that I’m not an extraordinary individual who can change the world, but if I could take any important matter into my own hands, it would be my education and voting. It's a sure way to have a say in your future,” she continued. “As Nelson Mandela stated, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ I can do this with my right to vote.”
In addition to being featured in the DOE Calendar, which is distributed to all schools, Uli'i's artwork is hanging in the Hawaii State Capitol building through Feb. 14.