HCAP Weekly March 12, 2018

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HCAP Youth Services Staff Reflect on Program Achievements and Impact
Former Youth Services Graduate Becomes Working Professional, Files Taxes
HCAP October – December 2017 Quarterly Newsletter
HCAP Head Start Staff and Families Visit the State Capitol
Ewa Beach Head Start Families Receive Information about HCAP Programs and Services
Leahi Kupuna Learn to Meditate


HCAP Youth Services Staff Reflect on Program Achievements and Impact

Photo of Youth Services Krystal and Mhoana

March 16, 2018 will be a bittersweet day for HCAP Youth Services Program Coordinator Krystal Ikeda. It will be the Graduation Ceremony for the HCAP Youth Services Class of 2018, but also the last day of the program, which HCAP has been running for the past 18 years. On paper, Krystal is the program coordinator and administrator. But in real life, Krystal has also been “Aunty Krystal” to the HCAP Youth Services students – someone the students can always confide to whenever life gets tough.

The HCAP Youth Services Program, which helps youth 16-24 obtain their Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma, was originally conceived as an employment program. But after the first year of running the employment program, Krystal realized that for many of the youth in the employment program, what they really needed was to grasp the fundamentals of reading and math before they were ever ready for a job. The HCAP Youth Services Program was created to fulfill the needs of those youth.

For Krystal, working directly with the HCAP Youth Services students has been a true pleasure. The program gave her the ability to create and facilitate change. “You are the change,” Krystal said, noting that the program has evolved a lot, thanks to staff input and collaboration.

Youth Services Teacher Mhoana Cruz agrees that effecting change involves wearing a lot of hats. She and Krystal have assumed other roles as well, including parent, friend, counselor, and therapist. As Mhoana remarks, “Youth Services [program] gives some of the kids here a second home.” When they need guidance or just a listening ear, they have Mhoana and Krystal to turn to.

Due to the proliferation of social media, Krystal has been able to follow and keep in touch with the HCAP Youth Services students over the years. It is the culmination of the graduates “going onto achieve bigger and better things” that makes her work at Youth Services so rewarding. She has been able to witness her graduates turn their live around and achieve milestones that would’ve been impossible five or six years prior: I’ve been able to see them “get better jobs, have children, buy their first houses.” This lasting impact has made the program a success and rewarding for both the students and HCAP throughout the years.


Former Youth Services Graduate Becomes Working Professional, Files Taxes

Photo of Denmark YS

For Denmark, his move to Hawaii at age 16 was tough. Denmark had completed 10th grade in the Philippines, but a high school entrance exam placed him back in 10th grade. Language barriers and large class sizes did not help Denmark in his transition to American high school. Upon a friend’s suggestion, he enrolled in HCAP’s Youth Services Program, shortly after dropping out of high school. Youth Services provided Denmark with the resources needed to excel in school. In a class of only 25 students, Denmark received individualized instruction and support from two Youth Services teachers. Within three to four months, Denmark was ready to take the General Educational Development (GED) test. Denmark took the GED and passed the test.

Youth Services opened doors for Denmark. Denmark had always wanted to join the military. He admired the order and discipline embodied in his stepdad, a retired war veteran. With a high school diploma in hand, Denmark enlisted in the military. Following active duty in Kuwait and Iraq, Denmark returned home to Hawaii and served two years in the Reserves. Using the G.I. Bill, he enrolled and completed an associate’s degree at Kapiolani Community College. Today, Denmark works for the State of Hawaii’s Department of Taxation.

Last week, Denmark returned to HCAP – this time as an adult and as a taxpayer – filing his taxes as part of HCAP’s ongoing Income Tax Services/ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program. Reminiscing about his Class of 2002 Youth Services cohort, Denmark said, “Everyone was motivated to graduate. All of us. We knew we could make it.” It has been sixteen years since graduation but Denmark still keeps in touch with a handful of his classmates.


HCAP October – December 2017 Quarterly Newsletter

Photo of HCAP Winter 2018 Newsletter

We’re excited to share the October – December 2017 issue of Ku`i Na Lono: Spread the News.

Featuring these stories and more:
• HCAP Holds Annual Board of Directors Installation Dinner
• HCAP Children Board United Airlines Fantasy Flight
• STEM Students Compete in FIRST LEGO League Robotics

Download the October – December 2017 Quarterly here.

View past Quarterly Newsletters here.


HCAP Head Start Staff and Families Visit the State Capitol

Photo of Head Start Capitol collage

Last week, HCAP Head Start held its 5th annual visit to Hawaii’s State Capitol. HCAP Head Start staff along with thirteen parents from various Head Start centers visited the offices of our legislators (Senator Brian Taniguchi, Senator Clarence Nishihara, Representative Calvin Say, Representative Linda Ichiyama, and Representative Mark Hashem), the Lieutenant Governor and the Governor, and presented each one with a 2018 Head Start calendar and a packet containing program information and success stories from Head Start families. This annual visit reminds our lawmakers the benefits that Early Childhood Education programs have in all communities in the State, and their support is needed to provide early childhood education services for all families in the State of Hawaii.


Ewa Beach Head Start Families Receive Information about HCAP Programs and Services

On Tuesday, Technical Projects Coordinator James “Jojo” Upega joined families at Ewa Beach Elementary Pre-Plus Head Start during their monthly parent meeting with HCAP Head Start Family Advocate Narcissa Seguin. Parent involvement is essential to the HCAP Head Start, and Jojo and Narcissa used the meeting as an opportunity to share with families the wraparound services HCAP offers. They discussed year-round programs such as Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), Na Lima Hana Employment Core Services (ECS) Program, Hā Initiative: STEM After-School Program, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), as well as seasonal programs such as Income Tax Services/ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program. Before the meeting ended, Jojo gave parents energy saving tips, handouts, and booklets and referred them to the HCAP District Service Center nearest to Ewa Beach residents (Central District Service Center).


Leahi Kupuna Learn to Meditate

Photo of Leahi kupuna

For the Kupuna Independent Life Series, Leahi District Service Center recently had guest speaker Crocker Clark and his monk friend from Uganda introduce ways to bring mindfulness into everyday life to the kupuna at the Moiliili Community Center. As a firefighter and a meditation practitioner, Crocker talked about his personal experience using meditation and how it has brought calmness into his life. During that time, the Kupuna participated in a 10 minute guided meditation. The workshop is designed to introduce meditation techniques and challenge the kupuna to think of ways to help improve wellness and aging in place.