Five Waianae High students, who are also University of Hawai'i--West Oahu early college students, Abigail Mae Calara, Christian-Elijah Peebles, Ryssa-Gene Edayan, Jerahmeel Cabahit, and Robin Bucaneg received the Student Silver Award for Animation & Special Effects at the 2017 Pele Awards. The students were under the direction of Michael O'Connor, head of Waianae High's prestigious Searider Productions and a UH West Oahu Creative Media Lecturer.
The students, who won silver for What Goes in the Ocean, are participating in an early college collaborative effort between the Academy for Creative Media at UH West Oahu and Waianae High's Searider Productions. Students who are part of the Waianae High Searider Productions and choose to take part in this program have the opportunity to fulfill their high school graduation requirements. while simultaneously earning college credits from UH West Oahu.
The Pele Awards is one of fifteen National District Competitions for the American Advertising Awards, the advertising industry's largest and most representative competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries every year from local American Advertising Federation (AAF) Clubs competitions from across the United States. The mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising and design.