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...]

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...]

A New Journey Begins

I'm excited to be accepted into the doctoral program at the College of Education, University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Our orientation yesterday had a synergy likened to the buzz on my island in Chuuk when a new outrigger sailing canoe is launched on a maiden voyage. I felt blessed to have twenty five amazing pilooy (companions on a sea voyage) from different pathways with diverse experiences. We have all been paddling our individual canoes all over the world; somehow we were selected to be part of … [Read more...]

Teach for Micronesia – Survey

Teach for Micronesia (TFM) is being developed as an independent, non-profit organization with the mission of ending education inequity in the Pacific Island nation of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Modeled after the highly successful Teach for America program, TFM aims to recruit college graduates from Micronesia and the United States to serve as paid teachers for two years and placed in high need public schools throughout Micronesia. Please help us take the quick online … [Read more...]

NY Jesuit Provincial’s Response Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Fr. David Ciancimino, SJ, the New York Jesuit Provincial recently responded to our petition on change.org to keep Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ, in Micronesia where he has done so much work and continues to do so. His public response which is published on The Fourth Branch website leaves much to be desired. In fact, it seems to prove what the new Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis has condemned about the Jesuit Order and the Catholic Church's focus on "small minded rules" which the Pope says, is driving … [Read more...]

Happiness Takes… Practice?

The following is a reflection that someone recently shared on FB. I think it's worth re-posting here as it serves as a good reminder to us all that happiness is not something that magically happens to us.  According to Cindy Holbrook, happiness happens to people who practice in their lives these 21 habits. Twenty plus one. That's it? Or that many? Can we boil these habits down to one underlying habit? Happiness is knowing that my family is OK. 21 Habits of Happy People By Cindy … [Read more...]