It is a common struggle for nonprofits to find funding for programs that help the community, and it is common many programs are underfunded. However, this does not change the passion and drive to continue the work to better our islands. Family Programs Hawaii is no different. In May 2018, we were delightfully surprised to be contacted by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, so that they could learn more about our new program Na’u e Koho “The Choice is Mine” for their annual Christmas in July event.
Na’u e koho works with Hawaiian, part Hawaiian youth at-risk and/or in foster care who are interested in post high school education and transitioning to adulthood. These high school seniors are provided guidance with life and career goals, applying for college and scholarships, and basic life skills that have not necessarily been met in their current circumstance. Na`u e koho staff work with these students in their communities, concentrating on areas with the high risk for Child Welfare involvement and the areas with higher numbers of Hawaiian youth on east Hawaii and west Oahu, where youth only dream of college because they believe “it’s not for me” due to lack of resources, encouragement, and/or self-esteem.
“We were surprised and curious to find out what the Weinberg Foundation wanted with us,” says Family Programs Hawaii’s CEO and President Keith Kuboyama. “It is not every day that a $10,000 donation from an organization like the Weinberg Foundation comes to our doorstep without our applying for a grant or making a deep connection.”
But apparently Family Programs Hawaii has made a deep and lasting impression on the community with the work it does here every day. This dedication adds up to everyday miracles in the lives of children and families who are at risk in Hawaii.
On July 18, 2018, the Na’u e Koho case manager, Kelly Villamar, and Na`u e koho participating youth, Dyonnejoy, and program manager, Nadine Dudoit, accepted the $10,000 award from Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation’s Gemma Tacazon at their Christmas in July luncheon (pictured above left to right).
Family Programs Hawaii is deeply grateful to Gemma Tacazon, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation for choosing Na’u e koho to receive the $10,000 award, which will be used for incentives for the youth to encourage them along paths to continuing education and adulthood.
Funding for Na’u e koho comes from the U.S. Department of Education, Weinberg Foundation, and donors like you. To find out more about how to give, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.