Samantha Kamailelauli‘i Puluole-Mitchell

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Public Policy Advocate for Hawaiʻi Island – East Hawaiʻi


Community Engagement
9 years at OHA (Includes 4 years as a student worker)


From:

  • Hawaiʻi (mokupuni)
  • Hilo (moku)
  • Waiākea (ahupuaʻa)
Education:

  • Hilo High School
  • UH Hilo (BA in Psychology)
  • UH Mānoa (MSW – Social Work)

What is your kuleana at OHA?

My kuleana to our lāhui is public policy through community engagement. As a public policy advocate, I advocate for Native Hawaiians through coordination and partnerships with community stakeholders. I assist in monitoring Hawaiʻi County and state governmental processes to ensure accountability and collaboration for the lāhui.

Why did you choose to work at OHA?

The work aligns with my values of social justice and desire to empower our community.

What is the best thing about working at OHA?

Serving and learning from my community and co-workers in all capacities. OHA has brought me many opportunities and experiences that helped me to grow and learn as a kanaka and in my profession.

What is something interesting for people to know about you?

I was a teen mom. It was the hardest decision and my proudest accomplishment. I know what it is to struggle and rise through adversity. Anything is possible with the love and support of your family and community. Always believe in yourself.

Who has been your role model?

My Grandmother, Judith Puluole (Byous), for her strength and unconditional love for her family. All my kūpuna and ancestors who laid the foundation for me and for the generations to come.

What is your best OHA memory?

There are many, but the funniest was doing an Escape Room game with my co-workers. It was fun, challenging, and exhilarating. Everyone had to work together under pressure. We got to see everyone’s personality shine. Lol. The most memorable are all the huakaʻi with my co-workers to different places and communities to learn and build pilina between us, the community, and the ʻāina.