How the 2022 “Empower Your Dreams Competitionhelped the Polynesian Cultural Center achieve goals

One of the outlined goals of the Polynesian Cultural Center is to “contribute to the educational development and growth of all people at Brigham Young University-Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center.”

This is not an idle statement. Every department in the Center utilizes and supports student workers who are working hard to achieve their personal goal to achieve a higher education in order to improve their lives, the lives of their families, and their beloved communities. We provide salaries, mentorships, and professional growth. Our student workers are the heart of Center, and we are grateful for the opportunity to bring them into our family.  


 Announcing the winners of the 2022 Empower Your Dreams Competition

The winning team, Harold Pedroso, Shazer Llanera, Ephraim Tacuban, and Karizza Llanera, present their submission for the 2022 Empower Your Dreams Competition. (names from left to right)

Our winning team presents their submission for the 2022 Empower Your Dreams Competition


It is therefore with great pride that we share that four student workers from our Marketing Department were announced as the First Place Winners of the 2022 Empower Your Dreams competition. Their submitted program, entitled Convrsion Marketing  presented an exciting proposal to support local businesses following the two difficult years during the COVID-19 shutdown.

A Winning Submission that supports local businesses

They described their program proposal as follows: Our mission is to revitalize mom-and-pop shops through e-commerce. When COVID-19 hit last 2020, many of these shops were forced to close due to local and state requirements. It’s almost impossible for them to transition immediately due to a lack of experience and knowledge in e-commerce. Our company is focused on helping them create, maintain, and grow their e-commerce stores and digital presence through services like online store development, product photo and video assets creation, e-commerce management, and other marketing campaigns. 

Meet the winning team

photo of our winning team for the 2022 Empower Your Dreams Competition

From left to right, Ephraim Tacuban, Shazer Llanera, Harold Pedroso, and Karizza Llanera


The four members and their positions in our department are:   

    • Team Leader Shazer Llanera, Coordinator, TheHawaiiStore, E-Commerce Dept, Ecommerce Supervisor, Marketing. 
    • Karizza Llanera, Assistant Digital Commerce Coordinator, TheHawaiiStore, E-Commerce Dept. Assistant Ecommerce Specialist, Marketing 
    • Ephraim Tacuban, E-commerce Web Designer, E-Commerce Dept, Marketing 
    • Harold Pedroso, Videographer, Marketing

“The future is bright”

“We are proud of our students’ achievements,” states Nephi Setoki, Ecommerce Manager. We are excited to support the development and growth of our students. The work they do at the PCC supplements and reinforces their classroom learning at BYU. Our student employees are an important part of our team. It is through their hard work, passion, commitment, and dedication that our department has achieved its growth objectives and success. It is exciting to see them rewarded for their creativity, talent, and vision. The future is bright for these up-and-coming leaders, Harold, Ephraim, Karizza, and Shazer.”