The following Q&As are from a Teen Focus Group held at Radford
High School in June 2004. The group was comprised of teens from Army, Navy and Air Force families. Some
teens had been on island a few months and others several years. The focus group was facilitated by teens.
Q: What would you tell kids to wear?
A: If a kid is moving to Hawaii, it is recommended that they wear light colors, thin material, flip flops, comfortable,
sunscreen, bathing suit, beachwear, shorts, tank tops, and something that they can get sweaty.
Q: What are a few phrases that you think students need to know immediately?
|A: Some important phrases to know are:
| • Da kine
||The kind (You cannot think of the word.)
| • Chillzx
| • Hoy
| • Spam musubi
||Snack made with spam, rice and seaweed.
| • Aloha
| • Mahalo
| • Brudah
Q: What do you consider the strangest thing that you discovered about living and/or going to school in
A: Some of the strangest discoveries were that you do not go to the beach everyday, the cultural shock and diversity
(many different ethnic groups) and the aloha spirit (friendliness) from most people.
Q: What did your parents do to make school transition and moving easier?
A: They did activities with me in the area so I could see what was great about the new place. My parents were
there for me whenever I needed to talk. It takes some people longer than others to adjust to new environments
Q: How long did it take for you to feel "comfortable?"
A: It really depends on the person. Some people can adjust in two weeks while others take two months to adjust.
Q: What was the first thing that someone 'said' or 'did' to make you feel comfortable on your very first
A: A few things that people did to make me feel comfortable were ask questions, talk about the clubs, sports,
the mall and just had a friendly face. Unpacking belongings also helped because it was something familiar.
Q: What is the one thing that you wish you had known before you arrived on the island?
Some important things I wish that I had known are how to dress, the Hawaiian language, the lingo of pidgin, need
for constant sun protection and the need to still own light jackets.
Q: How did you make friends?
A: Some ways to make friends are by sports, common interests (e.g., clubs), and going out.
Q: What types of activities, programs or events can schools do to ease transition challenge?
A: To ease transition challenges, schools could give the new student a lei, new student lunch and have more school
socials (e.g., spirit week activities).
Q: How would you advise new arrivals (students) or someone relocating to Hawaii?
Some tips are to embrace the culture, do not be intimidated by new experiences and people, be friendly, get involved
and do not believe stereotypes (e.g., locals live in huts).
Q: What do you like best about Hawaii schools? Least?
A: Pros -- There is diversity and the schools are outdoors (i.e., not completely indoors).
Cons -- Some schools do not have lockers, few classes have air conditioning and the schools are not organized
in communications about social events and changes in schedules.
Q: How does your school day extend into your life after school?
A: It extends by sports, extracurricular activities, homework and grades.
Q: What do you do for fun?
For fun, kids go to the Polynesian Cultural Center, beach, swap meet, mall, swimming pool, Water Park, hiking,
surfing and hanging out with friends.
Q: Do you feel prepared for college (or to go to your next school)?
A: College--Most students said no–referring to the college application process (not academics). The explanation
was that although the resources are provided, students do not want to go in alone or they do not know they need
help in terms of college.
New School -- Students never truly get used to moving no matter how much preparation takes place. Some programs
have tools for exiting (leaving) still in the works (development stage). Moving to a new school is just part of
the job description.