Photo: Asia-Pacific Leaders participants
Photo: Obama Foundation

Leadership Program at the East-West Center

Photo: Asia-Pacific Leaders participants
Photo: Obama Foundation

On January 4, 2019, The Obama Foundation launched an Asia-Pacific Leaders program with 21 emerging leaders from sixteen countries and territories. President Obama joined the leaders during the workshop to hear from them directly about the strengths in their communities and how the foundation can support their unique needs. Included in this select group were two people from Hawai‘i, Kaleookalani Manuel from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Kealoha Fox, Ka Pou Kāko‘o Nui at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Kealoha Fox had the honor of presenting opening remarks and introducing President Barack Obama as he launched this initiative.“You talk to [these leaders] and you will be reminded about how much talent and energy these young people have, this generation has, and how ready they are to get moving building even bigger, more impactful organizational efforts than they’re already doing,” President Obama stated at the East-West Center. – Photo: Obama Foundation

Lei Court seeking applicants

Photo: 2018 Lei Court
2018 Lei Court. – Photo: Dave Miyamoto of Dave Miyamoto & Co.

Honolulu‘s Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking canidates for the 91st Annual Lei Court Selection Event on March 2, 2019. Eligible participants must be between 18-30 years old by March 2.

Contestants will be scored on:

• Kumuhana o ka lei (lei making – contestants have one hour to make a lei wili on site);

• Kūlana Lei (poise and personality);

• ‘Ōlelo Pelekane and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (speaking in both English and Hawaiian); and

• Hula ‘Auana (modern hula).

The 2019 theme is Lei Kahakai (Seashore Lei). The selection event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kapolei Hale. Applications are available at or by calling Samantha Sun at (808) 768-3032.

The court will be presented at the Lei Day Celebration on May 1 at Kapi‘olani Park, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Kini Zamora re-creates ali‘i worn garments

Award-winning designer Kini Zamora has been chosen to re-create Hawaiian royal fashion worn by Hawaiian monarchs. The pieces will join the reproduction gowns that are currently on display at the ‘Iolani Palace.

Zamora will be creating five garments over the next two years, which include two dresses of Queen Kapi‘olani and King Kalākaua’s Hawaiian Kingdom military uniform.

“It’s extremely humbling to have been chosen to re-create these pieces of our history. The entire process, from research to sketching to piecing the garments together, filled me with a deeper appreciation of the workmanship of the time, as well as made me feel more connected to my Native Hawaiian heritage,” Zamora said.

The first garment to be designed by Zamora is the gown Queen Kapi‘olani wore on February 12, 1883 for her coronation alongside her husband, King Kalākaua. The gown is scheduled to be completed and on display at ‘Iolani Palace on February 12, 2019, to coincide with the 136th anniversary of the 1883 coronation.

Applications open for 2019-2020 Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), a program of Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL), is now accepting applications from students in health care and allied health professions for the 2019-2020 academic year. The deadline to apply online is March 1, 2019.

Awards are made to students enrolled or enrolling full-time in an accredited college in Hawai‘i or the continental U.S. The scholarship benefits include tuition, other school related expenses and a monthly living stipend. Upon completion of the degree and required training and licensure, the recipient shall serve two to four years of full-time employment in designated medically underserved sites in Hawai‘i.

Applications are being accepted for 17 different health and allied health professions, including: clinical psychology, dentistry, dental hygiene, dietetics, marriage and family therapy, nursing, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, public health and social work.

More than 284 scholarship awards have been made in almost 20 different health and behavioral health disciplines since 1991.

“This program has been successful because Hawaiian comunities have been served by homegrown health professionals, and our alumni scholars have risen to positions of leadership.” POL executive director Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels says proudly. “We encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing a health or allied health field to apply and be part of the Hawaiian health community.”

For more information and to apply, visit

President of PIDF to retire after years of service within the community

Photo: Jan DillJan Dill, president of Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF), founded the organization in 1997 to offer culture-based approaches to build healthy and resilient families and communities. After turning his dream into a foundation, Dill is set to retire in April 2019.

“Over the past 21 years, we’ve been able to set a solid foundation for PIDF’s continued growth with the support and dedication of so many individuals and organizations,” Dill said. “I’m excited to see the next president expand our current initiatives while carving his or her own path for PIDF’s future success.”

The local non-profit has provided support to Native Hawaiians and other at-risk communities through its numerous free programs. The foundation has served over 100 thousand individuals in over 75 communities throughout the state of Hawai‘i.

“It’s very humbling to see Partners in Development Foundation grow into what it is today because I strongly believe in the work that we’re able to accomplish, which directly benefits our keiki, kūpuna, and families as a whole,” Dill said. “I’ve been honored to work with an amazing team of people as we’ve striven for our mission of inspiring and equipping families and communities for success and service, using timeless Native Hawaiian values and traditions.”

The organization, with support and direction from the Board of Directors, is working through a planned leadership transition and is expecting to name a new president in mid-2019. To learn more about the foundation, visit

Ho‘okawowo Scholarships encourage Hawaiian culture-based teaching

Kanaeokana, Hawai‘i’s network of Native Hawaiian Schools and Kamehameha Schools have teamed up to create the Ho‘okawowo Scholarship for graduate and undergraduate students pursuing careers in pre K-12 Hawaiian culture-based education.

The need-based scholarship acknowledges the growing need for more teachers in Hawai‘i by encouraging students seeking degrees in education, Hawaiian language, and Hawaiian studies to enter Hawaiian culture-based and Hawaiian medium-immersion teaching careers.

“Ho‘okawowo exemplifies how Kanaeokana is advancing a system of Hawaiian education by working with our network members to strengthen Hawaiian culture-based education across the pae ‘āina” said Makalapua Alencastre, Kanaeokana member and director of Kahuawaiola teacher training program at UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula o Ke‘elikōlani. Kahuawaiola prepares teachers for Hawaiian language medium-immersion classrooms.

“The nationwide teacher shortage is more acute for our schools in Hawai‘i, due to our cost of living, and is further amplified because our kumu must be dual qualified in education and Hawaiian language competencies,” said Meahilihila Kelling, director at Samuel M. Kamakau Public Charter School in Ha‘ikū, O‘ahu.

Recruiting teacher candidates from university programs into teaching positions after graduation is critical. Kelling continued, “We are anticipating that the Kamehameha Schools Ho‘okawowo scholarship will offer a key financial support for university students to complete their education degree programs, enabling them to immediately enter the teaching field with us.”

‘Aukai Walk, a young husband, father, and education major enrolled at UH West O‘ahu received a Ho‘okawowo scholarship this academic year, which will allow him to complete his bachelor’s degree on time without encumbering massive student loan debt. As a Native Hawaiian male, Walk says he wants to see more young men enter the teaching field to be leaders in the classroom.

“I had the best teachers at ānuenue School and most of them were female,” he said. “I think more kāne teachers are needed, especially in our kaiapuni and Hawaiian culture-based schools so we can be cultural role models, especially for the Hawaiian boys in the class.”

Ho‘okawowo Scholarship applications are due by February 14, 2019. To apply, visit Kamehameha Schools’Financial Aid and Scholarship Services website. Students must demonstrate financial need to qualify. Kamehameha Schools gives preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law.