Island Soldier – our new trailer

https://vimeo.com/203928301 Iʻm proud to serve as the Consultant and Cultural Advisor for the soon-to-be-released documentary film, Island Soldier. Directed & produced by Nathan Fitch (former Peace Corps Volunteer in Kosrae, FSM), Island Soldier is about Micronesian citizens serving in the US military.  I believe the film will bring some awareness to the future of the small island nation of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the strategic recruitment of our young citizens, and the … [Read more...]

Support multilingual education in Hawaii

Aloha! Alii! Bula! Hafa Adai! Iakwe! Kaselehlie! Malo e Lelei! Mogethin! Paing Kom! Fairo! Olomwaai! Ran Karea! Talofa! Wenimomoto! ​The Hawaii Board of Education (BOE) will be searching for a new  superintendent for the Department of Education (DOE). Dr. Patricia Halagao, a colleague in UH Manoaʻs College of Education has been invited to serve on the 11-member Advisory Group to support the Search Committee in the selection and hiring process. Patricia has been actively leading the community … [Read more...]

Give Micronesian Youth in Hawaii a Chance to Rise

As we prepare for the new year amidst climate change summits and anti-immigrant sentiments from Republican presidential candidates, we pause to reflect on our lives as Micronesians in these United States. In this season of giving, our community continues to suffer from a deficit narrative that unjustly labels us as takers rather than contributors to Hawaiʻiʻs well-being. We know that the majority of our citizens from the Compact of Free Association (COFA) nations of the Federated States of … [Read more...]

“Someplace with a Mountain” of Scam

Update: Nov. 15, 2015 - This article was originally posted in December 2011 when the film was first released. I am re-posting it because the film is once again showing on PBS. Yet, the questions I raised in this blog and to Steve personally have never been answered. Do watch the film, but beware of what you're funding if you decide to give your hard earned money to relocate the people of Polowat without their consent. - Vid I've just seen Steve Goodall's film entitled, "Someplace with a … [Read more...]

Navigating Success: Pacific Islander students embrace possibilities

Our Navigating Success - 3rd Annual Pacific Islander Youth Empowerment conference for high school students of Pacific Island ethnicities was a complete success. What I started with our Marshallese Iakwe Club and a few colleagues from the Division of Student Affairs for 15 Marshallese students from Ka'u High School has grown into a popular annual conference. I'm so proud of the more than 130 volunteers from UH Hilo, Hawaii Community College, Micronesians United - Big Island, Hawaii County … [Read more...]

Why I Support Island Soldier

I invite all my friends, colleagues, and family near and far to support Island Soldier, a film documentary project that was recently launched on Kickstarter. Directed by my friend Nathan Fitch, former Peace Corps Volunteer in my country of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Island Soldier is "a feature-length documentary that tells the personal stories of young Micronesian soldiers serving in the U.S. military. The film follows them from a remote island in the Pacific to boot camp in the … [Read more...]

A Micronesian-focused Charter School in Hawaii?

I am blessed to be part of a consultancy team of doctoral students at the College of Education at UH Manoa who are working with several Hawaii-based Micronesian-serving clients on a project to study the feasibility of establishing a charter school focusing on Micronesian cultures, languages, people. Members of our team presented some of our preliminary findings and conducted focus groups with participants of the Pacific Educational Conference in Majuro, Marshall Islands. The team also paid a … [Read more...]

FSM Congressional Scholarship for Northwest Region

The FSM Congress recently appropriated $20,000.00 to fund scholarships for students from the Northwest region of Chuuk State. This is by far the largest amount set aside to help students from the small and remote outer islands of Pattiw, Pafeng, and Namwonweito. But how do students from these islands apply for the scholarship? What's the selection criteria? Is there a deadline? I had a chance to meet briefly with Senator Otto during his recent trip to Hawaii with the FSM Congressional Chuuk … [Read more...]

Help Tracy Poch, an Aspiring Chuukese Olympian

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omHhHRbI8c8 The other day, I interviewed Tracy Kaleikehaulani Nakanelua Poch as part of the Pacific Students Media team's "What's Our Story?" project to combat negative stereotypes and misinformation about Pacific Islanders in Hawaii. Tracy has been in the news as the only Hawaiian to make it on the Junior USA Women's Rugby 7's Team to possibly compete in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Little news is made of her other dream to wrestle in the upcoming … [Read more...]

Kids Sharing Aloha Through Microlending

As a parent and an educator, I was very excited to receive the news from Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School that my daughter, Keala, was selected to receive 3 awards at the school's End-of-the-Year celebration. One of these was the much coveted Legislative Award sponsored and presented by Hawaii State Senator Gil Kahele, a Kapiolani alum. This award is given to only one student per grade who exemplify the characteristics described on the certificate (see below).  And my little girl who just … [Read more...]