The Farrington High School Business Academy teamed up with the World Surfing League (WSL) in a public-private partnership and mentoring project that culminated in an event Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. The end goal - to honor two of Hawaii's greatest surfers.
The school hosted an assembly that honored reigning women's surfing champion Carissa Moore and Farrington alumnus Ben Aipa. Moore is a three-time Association of Surfing Professionals (since 2014 World Surf League) champion. Aipa competed in his earlier years and later distinguished himself as an innovative designer of surfboards and coach of champions such as Sunny Garcia, Andy and Bruce Irons and others.
"This is a huge opportunity for our kids," Farrington Principal Al Carganilla said. "To be able to partner with a group like WSL and work side-by-side with professionals who do this for a living really opens our students' eyes to the world beyond school and the possibilities for their future."
Members from the WSL teamed up with about 50 students enrolled in the Farrington Business Academy Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The students are studying the sports industry arm of business. With that in mind, the WSL offered to work with students on hosting a promotional event.
Since August, WSL representatives regularly met with Farrington High staff and students to discuss how to organize a large-scale event and prepare for the big day. The mentors helped students develop strategies and skills used in their profession.
So after months of planning, 2,400 students filled the gymnasium. Many of the students did not know about the three-time world champion of surfing, Carrisa Moore. The students leading the event created a video that introduced Moore and showcased her accomplishments. Then, Moore was called up to the stage to speak.
"I didn't realize I was going to talk before the entire school, I'm a nervous," said Moore. After sharing her story and recognizing that she's not much older than the senior class, she encouraged the teens to have a passion and to seek out their dreams.
"I wouldn't be here today without the support around me, and I wouldn't be here today without making mistakes," Moore said. "My best self comes forward when I have to fight for it."
After her speech, state and city lawmakers presented the two honorees with proclamations on behalf of the State of Hawaii. The students had worked with lawmakers on the recognition.
The work on this event isn't over for the academy students. This event is part of the learning journey with their business partners, WSL.
"The partnership with Farrington High and WSL is an example of what the Department wants to see taking place in more of our schools," said Suzanne Mulcahy, assistant superintendent, office of curriculum, instruction, and student support. "Collaborating with businesses on projects gives the students the opportunity to be better prepared when they enter the workplace and advanced education."
The CTE programs in the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) focus on students' hands-on learning of academic and technical skills through the support of businesses and private partners.
Farrington High School has several academies with areas of emphasis in health, teacher education, culinary arts, industrial and engineering technology, international studies, law and justice and arts and communication.
Farrington HS Honors Carissa Moore & Ben Aipa from Hawaii Department of Education on Vimeo.