HONOLULU (KHON2) — Moanalua High School became the winner of the 2022 Vans Custom Culture contest.

The national competition asked students to use blank Vans shoes and creativity to create customized masterpieces based on the themes “Hometown Pride and VanD(IY)oren Legacy.”

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After about a month of online voting, Moanalua High School came out on top, taking home the $50,000 grand prize for the school’s art program.

“Moanalua’s graduation is this Friday, May 20. So knowing that I ended my senior year with that kind of thing… I’m really happy and I wanted to cry happy tears,” said Jaidalyn Kamaunu, a senior at Moanalua, about the moment when she found out they won the competition.

It took 11 students two months to design and create their customized Vans shoes. They decorated two pairs of shoes.

“We basically worked nearly every single day after school for about one to two hours a day. There were days on the weekends, we would dedicate a whole entire seven-hour workday just to work on the shoes,” 11th grader Dianne Cabico explained about the process.

Their art teacher, Mr. Fujimoto, said his students deserve all the credit for their success.

“He’s been participating in this competition for like the past 13 years throughout his teaching,” Kamaunu said about her teacher. “This is the first time we have ever won the grand prize.”

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According to Mr. Fujimoto’s students, the money won will go towards the school’s art program and will allow them to have more field trips, better technology, equipment and materials for their classroom.