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What Happens When You Can’t Afford Food and Diapers?
Through the Eyes of a Teen

HIKI NŌ #1214 Original Airdate: Thurs., May 6, 2021  7:30 pm

HIKI NŌ Student Reflections Spring 2021, Part One

During the spring quarter of the 2020/2021 school year, HIKI NŌ students reflect on the impact COVID-19 restrictions have had on their home and school lives, as well as the lives of those close to them.

Akeakamai Cho, a sophomore at Kua O Kā La Miloliʻi Hipuʻu Virtual Academy on Hawaiʻi Island, tells the emotional story of how her large family is struggling after both parents lost their jobs and hānaied two infants. They have had to resort to pig hunting to put food on the table and had to sew cloth diapers for the infants because they couldn’t afford disposable diapers. Through it all, the close-knit family provides emotional support for all its children.

Nadia Friedenberg, a sophomore and new student at Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy on Hawaiʻi Island, tells us how initial COVID-19 restrictions placed on her as a boarder made it difficult for her to make friends. However, after the initial two-week quarantine ended, restrictions eased and she was able to make friends.

Cassidy Denault, a senior at Waiākea High School on Hawaiʻi Island, reflects on how the camaraderie of her running team has been a stabilizing force for her during the pandemic.

Katelyn Kato, a seventh-grader at Stevenson Middle School on Oʻahu, expresses how the switch to distance learning has made her efforts to maintain her previous straight-A grade average extremely stressful.

Jocelyn Gonzales, an eighth-grader at Kailua Intermediate School on Oʻahu, tells us how the pandemic has made it difficult to maintain close friendships.


Students at Konawaena High School on Hawaiʻi Island tell the story of a husband and wife who both teach at the school and how the pandemic has forced them to change the way they teach.

Students at Kapaʻa High School on Kauaʻi profile a young artist and her liberating approach to the creative process.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of HIKI NŌ, we are presenting a series of stories on outstanding HIKI NŌ alumni from the program’s first decade. The alumni profile in this episode spotlights Hilo High School graduate Luke Eclipse-Ujano, whose experience as a HIKI NŌ student inspired him to become a technology specialist and media teacher at his alma mater.