Two schools take top awards at Best Buddies leadership conference

Lokelani Intermediate in Kihei and Maui High School in Kahului took two of the top awards at the Best Buddies International Leadership Conference held in July at Indiana University in Bloomington.

More than 1,750 student leaders and educators from around the world were on hand at this year’s conference. Topics discussed by student and teachers included how to end bullying in our schools.

Lauren Potter, who has Down syndrome and stars on the TV show “Glee,” spoke to students about how she was bullied at school.

She went on to say that thanks to Best Buddies programs at schools around the globe, ways are being developed by student leaders to help end this problem.

Taylor Smith, Best Buddies chapter president at Baldwin High School, was on hand to accept the award on behalf of Lokelani Intermediate in Kihei. Smith was one of the original student officers at Lokelani in 2009 when the program began at the school.

Shantal Longboy, Best Buddies chapter president at Maui High School, received an award for her school. This year, Longboy and her chapter collected hundreds of signatures on petitions at Maui High that were presented to the Hawaii State Legislature, demanding an end to bullying.