Ryden Iwamoto ’22 recently addressed the Hawai‘i State Senate to share a framework for moving Hawai‘i toward a brighter economic future, one that involves connection, collaboration and championed leadership for honest and effective policymaking.
As part of the “Moment of Contemplation,” a speech typically delivered by a senator before a floor session, Iwamoto told the chamber:
“In focusing on people and place we give the people of Hawai‘i hope during these times of struggle; in working together, we observe the complexities of many issues and come up with ways to address them creatively and comprehensively; and in leading the push for change, we are champions for meaningful causes and inspire youth, such as myself, to strive for the same and to continue the push for progress.”
The presentation was a culmination of months of research and interviews with local policymakers, business leaders and community stakeholders that Iwamoto did as part of his work on economic development with Punahou’s Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship (CASE), where he is pursuing an independent project and a CASE Distinction, which recognizes students who show sustained dedication to entrepreneurship and positive community change.
Iwamoto was invited to give the speech by Senator Bennette Misalucha, who he has been interning with at the Capitol for more than a year. It was his first time being on the Senate floor.
“While I was very nervous to speak in front of such distinguished and experienced individuals, I was also extremely excited to deliver my short message that I hope pushed them to think for more than just a moment,” he said.