Native Hawaiian Organizations Association Awards $21,061
Meet Lily Ann Silva, a passionate educator born on the island of Oʻahu and now happily settled in Hilo with her ʻohana. As the heart and soul behind Silva Keiki Academy, she has been transforming young lives for 16 incredible years, impacting over 50 children and their families.
The Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture, a nonprofit with the mission of improving the quality of life for Native Hawaiians, opened its Center for Entrepreneurship in Kapolei on March 31. The center, which primarily serves the west side of Oahu, supports “family-owned community-based businesses to increase their capacity to succeed,” Program Director Lisa Pakele told Pacific Business News.
Four days a week, teachers from Keiki Steps fan out across the islands to set up makeshift classrooms in nine communities. On a recent morning in Waianae, on a farm tucked away on the edge of Makaha Valley, a half-dozen families roamed around activity centers under a lush canopy of macadamia nut, jackfruit and ulu trees.
INPEACE Keiki Steps has been engaging young children and their families in early learning since 1999, serving as the first stepping stone in each keiki’s educational journey. Our programming has afforded us many opportunities to build relationships with ʻohana that last well beyond program graduation, allowing us to watch keiki grow and develop even through high school and college.
Donna Soriano is a STEM Lab Teacher at Wai’anae Elementary School and a participant of INPEACE Ka Lama Education Academy. INPEACE has supported her in elevating herself in the teaching profession and is currently helping her to pursue National Board Teaching Certification.
The journey of higher education has its share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges for many families is the financial burden that comes along with going to college. For David and Ruth Gabaylo that financial burden is tripled as Ruth, a mother of three, is pursuing her own college degree simultaneously with their two daughters, Cinnamon and Cayenne. As a mother on a journey to higher education, Ruth has been able to continue to study alongside her children and has even had fun carpooling to college classes with her daughter.