Academic Outreach News

PMI Honolulu’s 2nd Annual Project Management Youth Awards

Students in our Hawaii schools are doing some amazing work that impacts their schools and communities.  As schools incorporate project based learning and leverage projects for student classroom learning and school activity planning, project management becomes a valuable tool and skill for students to increase their project’s success while building career readiness skills.  PMI Honolulu recognizes the value of project management and connection between the profession and academic environments.  Thus, the annual youth awards allow us to bring professionals and students together to make those project management connections. This year, PMI Honolulu held it’s 2nd Annual PMI Honolulu Youth Awards, which is opened to all Hawaii high school students that have projects in the designated school year. 
The awards include:
  • Youth Project of the Year: Recognizes youth on the components and management of the project.
  • Youth Project Team of the Year: Recognizes youth on the dynamics and cohesiveness of the project’s team.
The purpose of the PMI Honolulu Youth Awards is to:
  • Recognize students for application of project management concepts, tools, and strategies.
  • Connect students to the project management profession and Hawaii professionals.
  • Encourage the study and application of project management concepts and tools by students and educators in Hawaii high schools.
  • Showcase student projects with Hawaii project managers.

 “It is an honor for PMI Honolulu, Hawaii chapter to host the Youth Awards  where we get to see highly decorated students focused on different industries. We are excited for their future and we wish them well in their future projects that they will lead.” -Yoh Kawanami, PMI Honolulu Past President. 

Every year, the student projects provide impactful scopes and lessons around how they managed their schedules and overcome challenges within their teams.  Past Presidents like Yoh Kawanami are invited to participate as our youth award judges.  Past President Kawakami further shares how “at such an early stage, all the students understand the importance of communication and teamwork, we are very excited to see what the future brings for the high achieving students.”  Keeping our past presidents, current board of directors, and members connected to the youth within our communities provides a real way to engage, connect, and grow the project management profession.  As a judge, Kawanami gets to experience first-had how “amazing [it is] to see the detail-oriented project teams with such passion on their topics.”Being able to impact our students and be part of the development of our future team members and colleagues already equipped with project experience and skills.

Congratulations to our 2021 PMI Youth Award Winners!

Youth Project of the Year

  • 1st Place:  Malama Mental Health, McKinley High School
  • 2nd Place:  Sabers’ Pause for Paws!, James Campbell High School
Youth Project Team of the Year
  • 1st Place:  Malama Mental Health, McKinely High School
  • 2nd Place:  Environmental Remediation Effects of a Grattix Tote, Waipahu High School
  • 3rd Place:  Sabers’ Pause for Paws!, James Campbell High School
People’s Choice Award voted on by the event attendees went to Malama Mental Health.Visit to see what other impacts we are making with our youth!Mahalo to our Past Presidents who served as judges, to Special Projects and Academic Outreach for coordinating the awards, to our members that attended the event, and to all the project teams and their advisors whom applied for the award!Be on the look out for next year’s PMI Honolulu Youth Awards!  If you or anyone you know is interested in learning about incorporating project management into school projects, contact our Director of Academic Outreach, Joslyn Sato at

See the highlights of the fabulous work PMI Honolulu is doing with the Youth as we celebrate PMI Educational Foundation's (PMIEF) 30th Anniversary

Visit the PMIEF website to learn more and take advantage of free resources and college opportunities.

Contact for more information or any questions.

A Year of Firsts in Investing in Our Future

By Academic Outreach Director - Dr. Joslyn Sato, PMP

December 2019

During 2019, PMI Honolulu engaged in over 25 outreach activities focused on youth K-12 as well as non-profit organizations servicing our Hawaii youth.  Over 375 Youth and over 100 Advisors/Adults were impacted from the services and outreach that PMI Honolulu Academic Outreach provided.

The biggest accomplishment for the PMI Honolulu Chapter was hosting our first youth awards - Youth Project of the Year Award and Youth Project Team of the Year Award.  In addition, to recognize non-profit groups servicing youth, the Kukui Award was launched to recognize an organization that displays dedication and support in incorporating and educating our Youth with project management.  The award winners were presented at our Anniversary Dinner celebration, which brought our Hawai’i Youth and PMI Members together.  The dinner also featured an Elementary Student as our closing speaker. 

Expanding our reach beyond our immediate future by nurturing our youth will allow us to create a sustainable future. 

2019 Youth Project of the Year:  Minds Matter

  • Submitted for Youth Project of the Year
  • September 2018 - April 2019
  • Budget:  $1,000
  • Budget funding:  Sponsored by an Organization or Grant
  • Number of Team Members:  Five (5)
  • Members' Grade Levels:  11th and 12th


2019 Youth Project Team of the Year:  McKinley High School, Homecoming 2018



2019 Kukui Award



The Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders has 2 programs that support Hawai’i youth.  The CTL Ambassador program is incorporated in over 10 local Hawaii High Schools serving over 600 students.  The CTL Fellows program brings together 20 students from various Hawaii High Schools.  100 student-led projects are launched each year at the school, local community, and state level. During the 2018-2019 school year, the CTL program began incorporating project management tools and concepts.  Students are also guided by mentors creating real experience to build their knowledge and use of project tools to achieve project success.  If you are interested in volunteering with the CTL program as a mentor, please contact

2019 Youth Closing Speaker


Showcasing our Hawai’i youth to inspire our PMI members shows the capability we have in empowering them with project management.  When they can speak the concepts and use the tools that we use in our professions, we know that our future project teams and project managers will be well equipped to achieve project success.

2019 was a great success and start for us to lead, engage, and empower our future! 

Our Asks:

  • Share your ideas and contacts so we can get in-touch with other youth serving non-profit groups in Hawaii that could incorporate project management.
  •  Connect us with other schools and academic leaders that would be interested in incorporating project management.
  • Encourage student groups leading projects that use project management to apply for the 2020 Youth Project Awards.  Projects must be done during this school year.  Applications will be due in the spring.

Contact for more information or to share your ideas.


By Dr. Joslyn Sato, Director of Academic Outreach, PMIHNL

In early September 2018, McKinley High School’s Student Council Advisor, April Nakamura informed me that her student council team performs many school projects with short timelines and limited resources.  One of their biggest projects, Homecoming, is a crazy period because not only is it in the first quarter but also the students have many activities they need to coordinate and perform. 


A few words stuck out; “crazy period” and “activities”.  Immediately I thought “Schedules”!!!  I began to investigate what the student council was using and what we could enhance or improve.  Through my collaboration session with April, we developed a draft of an enhanced project schedule tool for the student council team to use.  We selected pertinent information and made it simple for the students and for April.  In addition, we discussed status reporting to streamline communication and ensure that project tasks were briefed so actions could be taken proactively. 

After our session, April shared the scheduling tool with her student council team and spent an entire day developing the tasks and activities, resource scheduling, and other details to plan out the Homecoming project.  After introducing the tool as their Event Management Template (EMT), and a few weeks the student council members began to understand the tool and process that was implemented.  According to April, “Now that Homecoming and the craziness of first quarter is over, I can 100% say that the project management template made my life at work a lot easier and allowed my students to stay on top of things.  There were times when I thought something was missing, we couldn't be this prepared with time to spare.  The only thing that was missing was the final moments of stress right before an event.”  April was excited that not only did she see the benefit of the scheduling tool but also that the students informed her that they, “knew what to do next, and when they were done with their tasks they'd look at the status of others on their team and was able to jump in and help them out, too.”  As for improving student follow-ups and the time spent tracking down task status, April would review the EMT 1-2 times a week and focus on providing student support for items marked red or yellow. 

As project managers, a project schedule and status reporting are just part of our daily operations.  But for others unfamiliar with project management, a simple tool like a schedule and a simple process of reporting status is a huge improvement for minimizing the craziness and overwhelming feeling of last minute actions.  What impressed me the most was that not only did the students from McKinley use the tool for one of their largest projects but did so within a short time period; and saw the benefits!


For the McKinley High School Student Council, this common tool was a new way for the team to plan, to manage, and to achieve project success. Their experience and feedback form their testimonies on the benefits they gained show us how valuable project management can be even for our keiki.

“The Event Management Templates (EMTs) gave out team a clear and detailed visual of our status in accomplishing our ultimate goal of each event. The system kept us organized and on track, leading everyone into the right direction. The EMTs were introduced to our executive council in the midst of hectic preparation for homecoming week. Thankfully, the templates were easy to get accustomed to and made a complex occasion seem fairly simple. As Ms. Nakamura would say, “homecoming week is like drinking form a fire hose.” Although that is true, the EMTs helped us condense an erupting firehose to numerous water fountains – making it easier for our team to handle the overwhelming situations. We thank you, Ms. Sato, for the valuable gift.” ~ Jett Kaler

“My name is Karla Sales, a student body from McKinley High School. During our homecoming week, we had to plan events throughout the whole week from dress up days to our prominent traditions. Basically, it was event on events type of week. However, thanks to the Event Management Timeline that were introduced just few weeks before our homecoming week. It helped us target the small details that we needed accomplish. Having the EMT was a big help for our council, as well as our advisor, because it was a communication in a paper. Whenever we did not know what to do, or we were stressed out to think about every small detail we just had to write it down into our EMT, for everyone to see the status of our event or if we needed to help one another. Having to see the tasks that needed be done was more stress free than thinking about it in our heads. I believe that the Event Management Timeline was a big portion that helped our homecoming week events ran smoothly. Without it, I know that we would have missed the small details of our events.”

“I feel that the EMTs were very helpful in showing us what needed to be accomplished and what tasks people were struggling with for each event. It made communication within our group much easier, and so this allowed us to get things done on time and to have to stress too much at the last minute. I really enjoyed using the EMTs through updating my status and checking on others, and I feel like a lot of people should learn how to use this project because it does make working in groups a lot easier. ~ Madison Cristobal.

We (in the profession) often take our practices in scheduling for granted and think of them as the things we do “at work”, but what we do with what we know and what we share with others to help them organize and plan out their tasks become practical skills that can be used by anyone at any age with any experience … even our School Student Leaders!

A special thank you to April Nakamura for learning the tool and integrating in within her student’s projects!

If you know of a school, teacher, advisor, or student group that could benefit from learning about project management or integrating project management within their projects please contact me at



By Dr. Joslyn Sato, PMP

Director of Academic Outreach & PMIEF Liaison, PMI Honolulu Chapter

Academic Outreach kicked-off 2019 empowering K-12 teachers and students with project management knowledge and skills.  Project Management can become overwhelming for non-project managers.  When you start applying project management to a classroom or curriculum, the complexity and various aspects become even more daunting.  But having a little guidance, some fun, and encouragement can help both teachers and students embrace and use those pieces of project management that matter most to their project.


Building the Skills of Our Students

During January, our Director of Academic Outreach participated in the Wahiawa Youth
Wellness Ninja Summit.  The summit was an opportunity to educate and develop student representatives from the Wahiawa schools about wellness to make school days
healthier.  As with anything we learn, we always look for the opportunity to apply.  The summit required the Wellness Ninjas and their Advisors to take back a project, which was to conduct a poster / video contest.  Rather than having the activity planned and executed by the Wellness Ninjas and their Advisors’ current practices, this was an opportunity to introduce simple fun project management tools.  An hour was spent defining the scope, identifying tasks to build as schedule, and developing a status tracker.  One Advisor even commented that, 'The project management portion is full of such important skills for the keiki.'  By leveraging what we know, we can empower others with the same success.  The Wellness Ninjas and their Advisors left the summit with an actionable plan that leveraged scope, schedule, and tracking to ensure project success.


Educate & Empower Our Teachers

Teachers are continuously provided new methods, standards, and other requirements to incorporate within their teachings, limiting time for them to explore beyond the classroom walls.  Campbell High School’s Teacher PDD provided a great opportunity to leverage the connection between academic and professional environments.  Most teachers already do 'projects' and apply some form of 'project management'.  During the one-day workshop, teachers began to see the connections and opportunities for further project management integration.  Thus, sparking ideas of enhancing existing tools, looking at an assignment differently, and finding the benefit for themselves and their students.   The workshop also provided time for teachers to receive one-on-one feedback for their specific needs to allow them to leave the workshop applying project management within their classroom.  Empowering teachers with project management tools, allows them to empower their students to succeed in their projects and optimize the project’s learning experience.

The possibilities are endless with project management integration in the academic environment.  Even a simple enhancement to an already existing tool or just awareness about projects from our eyes as project managers can make a significant impact.  But until the unknown becomes known to the Academic Environment, the students and teachers are missing all the benefits project management provides.

If you are in the K-12 academic environment or know someone that is, check out the Project Management Institutes’ Education Foundation for free resources at or contact our Director of Academic Outreach, Dr. Joslyn Sato, PMP at