Gov. Neil Abercrombie unveiled six anti-bullying public service announcements featuring UH athletes—volleyball player Kanani Danielson, softball player Jessica Iwata, basketball and football player Miah Ostrowski and football player Richard Torres. The PSAs were produced by Waiʻanae High School Searider Production students and debuted on October 3 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The governor said that these public service announcements were the first step to eliminating bullying in Hawaiʻi schools. He said students who are bullied feel isolated and marginalized, and he feels that these local athletes are the perfect people to speak to the topic. “As athletes they are conscious of their shortcomings and understand what teamwork is all about.”
Danielson said she was “honored to be a part of this,” adding that bullying is something that needs to be addressed.
“All of us were nervous about doing this” but the Waiʻanae students were amazing. She said the PSA’s turned out awesome. “It was exactly what we wanted to get across.” She hopes hearing the message from a familiar face will make the message sink in.
Waiʻanae student Sanoe Hamilton said that when the Searider team members produced the videos they wanted people to see something realistic, something that touches people. She says they wanted to tell people bulling is not fun and not cool.
Ostrowski says that is an important message to send to students. He says he was once in their shoes and looked up to athletes, so he wanted to help spread the message. “We are part of the community, this is our home, we have to take care of it.”