Early HIKI NŌ Students:
Where Are They Now?


CEO Message


Early HIKI NŌ Students: Where Are They Now?


Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOMiddle and high school students from the early days of our HIKI NŌ education initiative and the half-hour TV magazine show are now in their 20s, attending college and entering the job market.

Here’s an update on some of those outstanding HIKI NŌ alums:

Christopher Kim, a former student at Maui Waena Intermediate in KahuluiChristopher Kim was a student at Maui Waena Intermediate in Kahului when he co-hosted the very first edition of HIKI NŌ. A pastor’s kid, he spoke Korean at home with his family. Studying hard to master English words, he emerged as the Hawaiʻi State Spelling Bee Champion; won prestigious college scholarships; and is now a senior at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Alongside his University studies in computer science, he is a software-development intern at Oracle.

Victoria Cuba, from Waipahu in Central OʻahuVictoria Cuba, from Waipahu in Central O‘ahu, found her way out of homelessness through HIKI NŌ. She shared her personal story, which she had long kept secret, in a HIKI NŌ episode. Her great attitude and strength of character evoked donations from the public and brought scholarships providing college tuition and dormitory housing at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. PBS Hawai‘i employed her throughout college as a student production tech. She did very well at school and work and landed a job as a news producer at ABC affiliate KITV4 Island News in Honolulu.

Kaitlin Arita-Chang, an H.P. Baldwin High graduate from MauiKaitlin Arita-Chang, an H.P. Baldwin High graduate from Maui, earned a college degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and got her foot in the door as a staff assistant at the Capitol Hill office of U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono. Katie, as her friends call her, explains she was selected from a crush of applicants because of her ability to shoot and produce video for use in video news releases, using skills she learned in HIKI NŌ. Katie has since been promoted to Deputy Communications Director for Sen. Hirono.

Satoshi Sugiyama, a Japanese immigrant and English-as-Satoshi Sugiyama, an English-as-a-Second-Language student at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, was inspired by his HIKI NŌ experience to major in journalism at Syracuse University in New York. After graduating, he was selected for an internship at the New York Times and is now working as a bilingual reporter for the Japan Times.

We have more HIKI NŌ stand-outs from the early days of the program. If you find yourself worrying about what the future holds when youth are in charge, I suggest that you watch HIKI NŌ at 7:30 pm Thursdays on PBS Hawai‘i television, or anytime online at pbshawaii.org/hikino


These students will give you much hope for the future.


Aloha Nui,

Leslie signature




Connecting Across the State

On Kauai, Leslie and colleague Nikki Miyamoto give pointers on video "voice-vers" to HIKI NŌ students.

On Kauai, Leslie and colleague Nikki Miyamoto give pointers on “voice-overs” to HIKI NŌ students.


Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS Hawaii

The firehose of information flooding the web is available to all users. How much of this web free-flow is reliable?


More and more, students are learning the skills used in journalism to vet information for accuracy and fairness. Media literacy is an increasingly valued 21st-century skill.


And despite having that web world at our fingertips, there’s still nothing like “being there” and seeing for oneself.


So, in our tech-heavy digital and broadcast field, PBS Hawaii opens our doors to students and teachers for in-person sharing, and we go where they are, too.


(Top left-right) Chief Engineer John Nakahira gives College of Education students a tour of the station’s master control. (Bottom right-left) The students in the studio wave to their classmates in the control room through the video feed of a studio camera operated by VP of Creative Services Roy Kimura.


This summer, we hosted young students from a summer program at the College of Education program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Professor Christina Torres’ students from 12 public schools, five charter schools and six private schools toured the TV station and learned the elements of factual storytelling with a creative flair. (We look forward to holding many more gatherings next year in our new building, under construction.)


Our HIKI NŌ team heads across the state for teacher/student workshops in digital media and quality storytelling, in collaboration with some of Hawaii’s top digital media teachers. Last month, at Kauai’s Chiefess Kamakahelei School in Lihue, HIKI NŌ Assembly Editor Nikki Miyamoto and I coached students on video “voice-overs” or narration. Beginners (and I was there once) tend to adopt a robotic or singsong delivery in an effort to sound neutral and objective, but real people speaking of new developments don’t speak that way.


Would you like to see our HIKI NŌ students’ completed work on the big screen? We invite you to join us in celebrating students’ media literacy and other 21st-century skills at these free screenings of outstanding hyperlocal stories:


MAUI: Sun., Aug. 16, Historic Iao Theater, Wailuku,
3:00 pm reception, 4:00 pm screening

HILO: Sat. Aug. 22, Palace Theater,
3:00 pm reception, 4:00 pm screening

KONA: Sun., Aug. 23, Aloha Theater,
3:00 pm reception, 4:00 pm screening

KAUAI: Sat., Aug. 29, outdoors at Island School, Lihue,
6:00 pm reception, 7:00 pm screening

OAHU: Wed., Sept. 2, Ward Consolidated Theaters,
Honolulu, 4:00 pm reception, 6:00 pm screening


A hui hou (until next time),

Leslie signature