HCAP Weekly June 5, 2017

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In this week’s issue:

HCAP Youth Services Class of 2017 Celebrate at Graduation
SCSEP Participant Finds Purpose and Community
Kumuhonua Helps Family Get Back on their Feet
Na Lima Hana Services Participant Finds a Permanent Position
Hā Initiative Takes a Field Trip to Bishop Museum
HCAP Head Start Accepting Applications for the 2017-2018 School Year


HCAP Youth Services Class of 2017 Celebrate at Graduation

Photo of Youth Services Graduation

On June 8, 2017, HCAP Youth Services (HYS) held the Class of 2017 Graduation Ceremony at McCoy Pavilion. The ceremony began with a live performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi” by HYS graduating student Leiva Pine. Following the opening songs, Vice Chair of the HCAP Board of Directors and Kailihi-Palama District Advisory Council Representative Pauni Nagaseu-Escue delivered the Director’s Address.

The theme of building resilience in the face of adversity became a recurring theme as the ceremony unfolded. HCAP Director of Finance Corinne Murashige shared her own personal story about overcoming the odds in a single-parent home. In his delivery of “A Word to the Class,” Vandeth “Ali” Sek, the Congressional Liaison from the Office of U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, touched upon how the setbacks in his life didn’t stop him from graduating college. As the Alumni Speaker, Daroll Sakamoto, part of the HYS’ Class of 2007, spoke candidly about being the “black sheep” in his family during adolescence, surviving homelessness, graduating from HYS, completing college, and finally, establishing a stable career in the hotel industry. Graduating students Apelu and BraiAnna talked about the hardships they faced on their journey into adulthood and thanked the people who would not stop believing in them.

After all the speeches, HYS Program Coordinator, Krystal Ikeda, presented special awards to outstanding graduates. The big moment finally arrived when HYS Teacher Mhoana Bello led the Presentation of Diplomas; the students, one by one, walked onto the stage to receive their hard-earned Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma. Parents and loved ones cheered on as the graduates moved their tassels from right to left, and convened for a Class of 2017 picture. To close the ceremony, everyone in the crowd joined the students in singing their class song, “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau.

Congratulations to the HCAP Youth Services Class of 2017! We wish you a future full of promise and possibilities!


SCSEP Participant Finds Purpose and Community

Photo of Erlinda SCSEP

Erlinda first heard of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in April 2017. On Valentine’s Day 2017, her husband of nearly fifty years had passed away. Erlinda had given up her job at Wendy’s to become his full-time caretaker, following his diagnosis from leukemia. But months after her husband’s untimely passing, Erlinda wanted to resume a normal life again. She wanted to reintegrate into the community, and she wanted to work again. When Victoria Almosara, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Springs of Living Water, informed Erlinda that her faith-based non-profit social agency was looking to hire workers through HCAP’s SCSEP program, Erlinda was interested.

After passing the initial eligibility assessment, Erlinda was assigned to be the groundskeeper at Springs of Living Water’s preschool, the Faith, Hope & Love Child Care & Learning Center. It has been over a month into her assignment and Erlinda has only positive things to say about her role as groundskeeper. The assignment gives her newfound purpose and energy in everyday life. She enjoys tending the yard and grass at the preschool. Back in her homeland, the Philippines, Erlinda did a lot of gardening, feeding her seven children and husband with ripe mango, banana, and breadfruit from the trees in the family yard. Now, Erlinda has the privilege of gardening in her day job. Besides gardening, Erlinda also enjoys the newfound community ties she has since established: becoming a familiar and welcome presence to the teachers, students, and parents at the preschool.


Kumuhonua Helps Family Get Back on their Feet

Photo of Trudy Kumuhonua

Until 2015, Trudy, her husband, Andy, and their son Andy Jr. had lived in California, and were all gainfully employed. Trudy wanted to be closer to some family members, and moving to Hawaii would enable this to happen. After being told by a family friend that housing and employment would be easy to find and obtain, the family quit their jobs, packed their bags, and headed to Hawaii.

When they arrived in Hawaii, however, the picture wasn’t as rosy as they had envisioned. Trudy and her family moved from house to house, and used up all of the tax refunds they had in their banking accounts. In December 2015, the family applied and moved into the Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center. Throughout their stay at Kumuhonua, Andy and Andy Jr. secured and maintained employment. While her husband and son were working their day jobs, Trudy worked hard to look for permanent housing for her family. With the help and guidance of the case managers at Kumuhonua, they maintained a savings account, attended workshops, and received assistance through Rent to Work, a federal program.

In May 2017, with savings accumulated throughout their stay at Kumuhonua, Trudy and her family successfully found permanent housing in Waipahu. Shortly thereafter, Trudy found permanent employment as the Resident Manager at their place of residence. The family is now living in Hawaii on their own, just as they had originally planned.


Na Lima Hana Services Participant Finds a Permanent Position

Photo of Kari Na Lima Hana

When Kari first came to the Leahi District Service Center late last year, she was an unemployed single parent and needed to find a job to make ends meet. Kari was referred to the Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program, where she completed Job Readiness Training. Soon thereafter, she was hired for a temporary position as an administrative assistant with a company through Altres Staffing. With a temporary employment offer pending, Kari needed to find childcare for her son. With the help of community workers at the Leahi District Service Center, Kari received referrals to affordable childcare. She eventually found childcare, and was able to assume a full-time position.

For maintaining employment for 90 days, the ECS program rewarded Kari gift cards from Walmart and Long’s for her hard work and perseverance. Recently, Kari received news that her temporary administrative position has become a full-time permanent position. The Leahi District Service Center would like to congratulate Kari on all her success!


Hā Initiative Takes a Field Trip to Bishop Museum

Photo of STEM Bishop Museum

The Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program started the summer session with a bang, literally. Students from all five STEM Exploration Centers explored volcanoes, supermassive black holes, and ancient Hawaiian feathered helmets at the Bishop Museum. They learned about the powerful forces at work in our universe. Students experienced an up-close view as stars collapse, comets hurl through space, and galaxies collide at the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium. The group also explored the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center, where they learned about marine life, and the Hawaiian Hall, where they viewed the treasures, the culture, and the journey of ancient Hawaii.


HCAP Head Start Accepting Applications for the 2017-2018 School Year

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Are you or someone you know in need of comprehensive early childhood education? Spread the word! HCAP Head Start is now accepting applications for children 3-5 years for the 2017-2018 school year. Families are encouraged to apply by calling (808) 847-2400 or visiting our website.