Categorized | Health

Hawaii Meth Project 2014-15 teen advisory council


The Hawaii Meth Project’s Teen Advisory Council turns five this week with the appointment of 22 student members to its 2014-2015 group.

This year’s council, selected through a competitive application and interview process, is comprised of high school students from Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island who help to raise awareness about the risks of methamphetamine use and provide a teen perspective on the campaign’s strategies and messages.

Maria Fratinardo of Kamehameha Schools will join returning members John Ortega of Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Ian Sanborn of Kamehameha Schools, and Makoa Yoshida of Konawaena High School to serve on this year’s council as the representatives from the Big Island.

“We are excited to enter our fifth year of the Hawaii Meth Project’s Teen Advisory Council. Our student members have shown great commitment to our organization’s ‘Not Even Once’ message by engaging with their peers and serving as leaders in their communities,” said David Earles, executive director of the Hawaii Meth Project. “We could not be more proud to see and hear of the impact our council has in educating the youth about the dangers of meth and encouraging a drug-free lifestyle.”

Teen Advisory Council members represent the Hawaii Meth Project at community events, organize awareness activities in their schools, and participate in social media outreach. Since the council was formed in 2010, student members have been instrumental in recruiting a substantial amount of peer volunteers who support the organization’s message. Each year, a few students are selected to return to the council.

“It’s very common to see my peers give in to gateway drugs because their friends are doing it. I want to be the voice empowering them and to help the youth realize that it’s okay to say, ‘no, Not Even Once,’” said John Ortega, a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. “The ‘Not Even Once’ message means so much more than vowing never to try meth. It’s a responsibility to lead by example and to educate those around me about the importance of turning away from methamphetamine.”

The 2014-2015 Hawaii Meth Project Teen Advisory Council members are as follows:

Hawaii Island

Maria Fratinardo – Grade 11, Kamehameha Schools Hawaii
John Ortega* – Grade 12, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
Ian Sanborn* – Grade 11, Kamehameha Schools Hawaii
Makoa Yoshida* – Grade 10, Konawaena High School


Sarah Salemi – Grade 11, King Kekaulike High School
McKayla Wandell* – Grade 12, Baldwin High School


Erica Owan* – Grade 11, Kauai High School


Erica Brenner* – Grade 11, Island Pacific Academy
Malia Bush – Grade 12, James Campbell High School
Marjorie Cheng-Leever – Grade 11, Mid Pacific Institute
John “Eiwa” Colburn IX – Grade 12, Kamehameha Schools Kapalama
Kaulana Dilliner – Grade 12, Kamehameha Schools Kapalama
Mari Domingo* – Grade 12, Mililani High School
Brianna Dung – Grade 12, Saint Francis School
Lydia Earles – Grade 11, Hawaii Mission Academy
Tiana Igarashi – Grade 12, Henry J. Kaiser High School
Michael-Logan Jordan – Grade 10, Kalaheo High School
Dakota Mengel – Grade 12, Mililani High School
Lauren Nahale – Grade 11, Kalaheo High School
Maya Nishida – Grade 11, Mid Pacific Institute
Caitlin Okamoto – Grade 12, Kaimuki High School
Kaheela Reed – Grade 12, James Campbell High School

* Returning members

The Hawaii Meth Project is a nonprofit organization that implements large-scale, research-based campaigns and community action programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state.

The Hawaii Meth Project is affiliated with The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit organization working to help families solve the problem of teen substance abuse.

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