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17-year-old Tyler Levine, Hawai‘i born and raised, is on a mission to create enduring, positive change, preserving the ancient wisdom of life and earth stewardship through seed saving and sharing. With her movement-based organization, SEEDS of Honua, she is planting seeds of knowledge in the hearts and minds of intergenerational communities both locally and around the globe.
Tyler launched the SEEDS of Honua movement in 2020, and was a winner in the 2020 Kīpuka Innovation Competition. She was subsequently awarded a Hawaii Youth Sustainability Challenge grant, sponsored by Kupu and the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation. The grant funding supported a series of four seed saving workshops for teachers and students, and led to mentorship and collaborations with organizations, farms, and schools across the state.
Tyler’s multidisciplinary background and her expertise in the realms of seed production, seed saving education, and seed sharing network development continue to blossom with her expanding work in the food/forestry seed system.
Timothy-John “Keoni” Lorenzo
Seed storyteller Keoni Lorenzo of Kohala, Hawai‘i, is studying Natural Resources and Environmental Management and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i at UH Mānoa. Keoni is passionate about using his skills as a nature photographer and cultural practitioner to uphold his responsibility to mālama our ‘aina and give back to our communities. His involvement with the celestial navigation group, Papa Kilo Hoku that practices traditional Hawaiian navigation without the use of modern technology, has helped prepare him as crew member on Kānehūnāmoku voyaging canoe, and he is currently training to join the crew of Hōkūle‘a. In addition, Keoni and his ‘ohana work in a newly established nursery to nurture Hawaiian plants and seeds for future out-planting and reforestation.
Dr. Debbie Millikan is a Sustainability Specialist at ‘Iolani School, where she teaches about sustainability and supports its integration in food systems curriculum. She coordinates the O‘ahu Farm to School Network, which supports farm to school programs on the island of O‘ahu, and contributes to state-level initiatives through the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui.
She is passionate about empowering students to think critically, find their voice, and act to create sustainable food systems for Hawai‘i’s future.
Rainbow Pharaon is an educator at Kaʻōhao Public Charter School in Kailua, windward O‘ahu. Her Hawai‘i K-6 teaching license and graduate degree in Place-Based and Sustainable Education from UH Mānoa have grounded her more than 20 years of experience in environmental education, science, and culturally sustaining programs. Rainbow helps educators create thematic curriculum that is relevant and enjoyable in both formal and informal settings. Her mission is to meaningfully connect people and the natural world in order to foster a sense of stewardship and belonging in our shared world community.
Parker Sawyer is currently a 6th grade STEM & Leaf teacher at Kaʻōhao Public Charter School in Kailua, windward O‘ahu, where he has been an educator for the past 19 years. He has been involved with the Windward Zero Waste School Hui at Kaʻōhao School since 2015; as Garden Care Coordinator, he keeps the gardens ready for planting by the Aina in the Schools program sponsored by the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation. Parker holds a master’s degree in Hawai‘i K-6 teaching, has been trained in Project-Based Learning at the Edible Schoolyard Project, and is a graduate of the GoFarm Hawai‘i program at UH CTAHR. As a farmer, he ran a small ag-incubator at CTAHR Waimanalo for two years.
Seed storyteller Yinan Wang is an 8th grade student at Washington Middle School (WMS). She is skilled in using art as a vehicle to convey complex ideas, and shares her passion by connecting with others. As an avid member of the WMS Science Club, she has played an active role in her school’s implementation of the STEAM Entrepreneurship and Research (STEAMER) sustainable agriculture project, funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) program. In 2021, Yinan represented WMS in a presentation about the STEAMER project to Governor David Ige and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige.