Each year, the Oceanit Summer Interns give back to our local educational community by partnering with Helping Hands Hawai’i to host a school supply drive and fundraiser. In addition to the benefits providing school supplies to children and classrooms, this charitable tradition leads to a greater appreciation of the privilege that many of us have and awareness of the simple steps everyone can take to help keiki statewide. For the Oceanit Interns, this is a teambuilding and collaboration experience that they organize and lead purely as a team.
One of our current interns, Tarah Aniya, a Junior in UH Manoa’s Mechanical Engineering program, shared details on the process and experience that this year’s drive imparted. In her own words, we would like to share the interns experience:
Innovation and technology are not the only ways Oceanit is making waves in our community. This year marks Oceanit’s 9th annual school supply drive in support of Helping Hands Hawaiʻi. Lead by this year’s summer interns, the two-week long drive was a huge success, bringing in over $500 in donations and over $100 worth of school supplies.
“It was pretty great seeing how the company came together to help out. We got lots of donations from everyone around the office; it was fun and we all felt good about giving back,” said Tarah.
The main fundraising event was a bake sale, where the interns, a few Oceanit staff, and Anna Andrews – extended Oceanit Ohana and professional baker – donated lots of ʻono baked goods.
“It was better than we expected, [I’m] really happy about the turnout,” said Shaylin Marn, a Senior at UPenn and Mechanical engineering intern. On top of the Oceanit staff, staff from other companies in the building also came to support and share aloha with the office interns.
“About an hour in, we were starting to get worried that we would run out of baked goods, but Anna came and saved the day with some more delicious baked goods,” said Kelly-Ann Lee, a second-year law student at the UH Manoa Richardson Law School and Oceanit legal team intern.
Another way donations were raised was through a creative competition appealing to the ‘inner nerds’ of the Oceanit staff. Two donation jars labeled with “Star Wars” vs. “Star Trek” were set up, and Oceanit staff donated to the jar of the galaxy/series they wanted to support. At the end of the drive, the results were tallied up: it was a close call, but Star Trek managed to beat out Star Wars by just $3.35.
“I was disappointed that Star Wars didn’t win, but I’m still glad because it was all for a good cause,” said Frank Pang, a commercialization intern and Junior at USC pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering & Science.
Whether it be through technological pathways or volunteer work and community support, making the community a better place has always been a core value at Oceanit. Even as Oceanit grows across the globe, the company’s local roots stay strong. Oceanit has continued to take the time to give back and nourish those island roots.
We are so proud of our 2019 class of summer interns. They have been working hard as part of our project teams, but also on their own intern-led initiatives such as the fundraising and donations for Helping Hands Hawaii. You can learn more about the organization by visiting http://helpinghandshawaii.org/