MHS Students Place in Annual TC Ching “Inspired by Hawaii” Contest

Jenna Kim

     In February 2021, Mililani High School seniors Kobelyn Guerrero and Elizabeth Johnson placed in the annual Clarence TC Ching Foundation “Inspired by Hawaii” Contest. Being open to public and private school students in Hawaii, the contest had competitors in grades K-12 in four separate divisions ‒ essay, poster, digital media poster, and video. Guerrero and Johnson worked together to create a video based on the foundation’s theme of improving Hawaii, which placed third in the division. The two participated in a video contest each quarter as part of digital media teacher Jason Tamura’s class. 

     “We didn’t enter the contest with the intention of winning, we just wanted to create the best video that we could,” said Guerrero. 

     Titled We Can, the 30-second video reflected on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on citizens of Hawaii. Although there were many limiting restrictions placed on the public due to COVID-19, Guerrero and Johnson’s video reminded viewers that there were also positive aspects of the pandemic, such as how it opened opportunities to “support local businesses, spend time with family, and create the best version of ourselves.”

     As both students were taking Mr. Tamura’s class since their freshman year, their digital media skills were able to blossom over time. Through the video-making process, the two dedicated time to brainstorming ideas, directing, filming, and editing the video. Drawing experience from Mr. Tamura’s class, Guerrero did the majority of filming while Johnson edited, using video editing programs like Final Cut, an Apple application. 

     “I enjoy having Tamura as teacher, and I love making videos with Elizabeth, so that’s why I continued making videos for the school for so long,” said Guerrero. 

     Their video, along with all the other division winners, can be found on the Clarence TC Ching Foundation website at