UH Hilo nursing students to be featured in documentary film on education system

Theresa-Regina Rivera and Mark Jones will be featured in the upcoming film ‘Ike, Knowledge is Everywhere, a documentary about the education system in Hawai‘i. The film will have its premier at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival in November.

By Susan Enright.

Theresa-Regina Rivera
Theresa-Regina Rivera

Two nursing students earning their degrees through a distance learning program of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo will be featured in the upcoming film ‘Ike, Knowledge is Everywhere, a documentary about the education system in Hawai‘i. The film will be premiering at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival on November 6 at the Dole Cannery Theatres in Honolulu with additional showings on November 9 at Hawaiʻi Kai Koko Marina Theatres and November 15 at Hilo Palace Theater.

While the film will highlight the community-driven programs of the Wai‘anae Health Academy, a program of the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center on O‘ahu, the premise of one segment within the documentary will revolve around two UH Hilo nursing students, Theresa-Regina Rivera and Mark Jones, who are earning their degrees via distance learning while remaining in their community of Wai‘anae.

“These two stepped up and opened up to share their individual story of being a non-traditional adult student who has struggled within many aspects of their personal life within a community impacted by poverty,” says Amy Asam, education director of the health center. “But each were able to eventually navigate through and find success again via the Wai‘anae Health Academy. They have finally found academic success at UH Hilo via our academic-community partnership and both are well on their way to professional success in nursing as well.”

Mark Jones
Mark Jones

The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center is a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to provide accessible health care and education to the rural community on Leeward O‘ahu. The center’s mission emphasizes a holistic approach while preserving native Hawaiian culture and traditions, not unlike UH Hilo’s focus in higher education.

“The journey for our Wai‘anae nursing cohorts is so exciting and really brings home the reason we are in nursing education,” says Kay Daub, director of the School of Nursing at UH Hilo. “The Wai‘anae team felt that our UH Hilo School of Nursing program, which has a strong transcultural foundation, would be a perfect fit for the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.”

Asam describes Rivera as a wife, mother, student and a role model. She is the truest example of determination in the face of adversity. Her positive attitude and mindset prevail, even though her community of Wai‘anae continues to face adverse social detriments that keep many students from excelling in post-secondary pursuits. Following completion of her bachelor degree in nursing, Rivera will take the state exam to become a licensed registered nurse (RN).

Jones, who before pursuing a degree in nursing was an intermediate school teacher in Wai‘anae, is now on the other side of the classroom as he works toward completing his senior year in the UH Hilo School of Nursing program. He also is an instructor with the Wai‘anae Health Academy early admissions college program for teens enrolled in a college health course during their junior and senior years of high school. He also works with disadvantaged youth at a home for teenage girls who are in constant need of supervision and support.

Both Rivera and Jones have maintained a 4.0 grade point average since enrolling in the UH Hilo School of Nursing and will graduate on the Dean’s List in May 2015.

“This is a show case of how education can really change the world for the better, and can turn lives around making a difference for an individual, a family, and a community,” says Daub.

‘Ike, Knowledge is Everywhere will be shown at numerous locations across Hawai‘i and the mainland U.S. It will be premiering at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival on November 6 at the Dole Cannery Theatres in Honolulu with additional showings on November 9 at Hawaiʻi Kai Koko Marina Theatres and November 15 at Hilo Palace Theater.

 

About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.