Lanai High student uses project to provide and protect community amid COVID-19 outbreak


LANAI CITY, Hawaii (KHON2) – Amaya Hoopii Bautista didn’t let the Coronavirus pandemic ruin her senior year.

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The Lanai High and Elementary School student has worked tirelessly on her senior project and it couldn’t have come to fruition at a better time.

“I began planning this project out during the summer and the idea of giving each student a face mask came about, because I knew the school year was going to be different,” said Amaya Hoopii Bautsita, a senior at Lanai High and Elementary School.

The senior’s goal is to relieve financial burden for Lanai families while keeping them safe.

“I realized that parents or guardians may be having some trouble providing multiple face masks for their students. It seems like a great amount of our population of Lanai residents are unemployed,” Hoopii Bautista said.

“We don’t have a lot of stores where you can just buy a mask,” said Natalie Ropa, Director of the Lanai High and Elementary School Foundation. “So for her to be able to bring them in and kind of put the Lanai High and Elementary School on it so the kids could take ownership.”

Hoopii Bautista raised $5,000 through community donations for the masks.

The senior also created an education video for fellow students to watch at home.

“I think the educational portion is just as important as actually giving the students their face mask. You could be using a face mask, but if your nose is hanging out or if there’s gaps on the side of your mask, then it doesn’t really serve much protection to yourself or the people around you.”

The senior hopes to distribute the remaining masks to the upperclassmen once the COVID-19 outbreak is under control.

“I just want to give back to my community and take part in keeping us safe and protecting ourselves and each other, because we are such a small community and things do spread quickly,” said Bautista.

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