School: Kamaile Academy
Tutor: Jameil Saez
Driving Question: How do we, as future leaders, use service to improve our community?
What did the students DO?
The Kamaile Kōkua PALS group evolved out of previous students’ interest in volunteering at the Hawaiʻi Food Bank and their surprise in the statistics that were shared with them. Contributing to the betterment of their community was both relevant and engaging, The following year, Jameil Saez, a Kamaile PALS tutor, decided to create a group around the idea of service through volunteering. He provided space and time for students to research, discuss, and plan for any service projects that interested them.
Place-Based Field Experiences/Connections
Since the focus of the Kamaile Kōkua PALS group was community service, the group was often off-campus at various sites. This also meant that they needed to seek out and partner with several community organizations to arrange and complete the projects they chose. During the course of the 2019-2020 school year, the following projects were completed:
PARTNER: Kamaile Academy & Waiʻanae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC)
PROJECT: The group volunteered to help several times at the ʻOhana Food Pantry sponsored by the WCCHC and held on their school campus on Friday afternoons.
PARTNER: Waiʻanae High School (WHS) PALS: Community Health
PROJECT: The PALS groups at the two schools had a similar focus and were both high school-aged groups, so was a great connection with others in their community. Invited the WHS PALS group to join them at the ʻOhana Food Pantry Helped WHS to hand-make 80 holiday cards to be delivered to Pu‘uwai ‘O Mākaha nursing facility
PARTNER: the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) – SEED Dept
PROJECT: UHM SEED Dept. held a holiday ‘ohana donation drive to collect clothing, bedding, food, and toys. Once collected, the Kamaile Kōkua group sorted, packaged, and labeled the items. They then delivered the donations to Puʻuhonua o Waiʻanae, a houseless encampment in their community, to be distributed.
PARTNER: Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation (KHF)
PROJECT: After noticing an excess amount of litter related to school meals, the group reached out to KHF to start an on-campus recycling program. Much to their disappointment, the type of plastic used was not recyclable. They designed a new plan to install paper recycling bins on various locations on campus and do a weekly pick up to empty the paper into the large recycling containers on campus. This was the first recycling program on campus!
PARTNER: Blue Planet Foundation (BPF)
PROJECT: Kamaile Kōkua picked up an incomplete project from another group that was aimed at energy conservation. BPF donated several cases of energy-efficient light bulbs as part of an exchange campaign. The group designed an on-campus plan to encourage students and teachers to bring in their lightbulb from home and to exchange them for a more energy-efficient one.
The Kōkua Kamaile PALS group also sought out local opportunities to volunteer their time to help out at an event they were interested in:
- Recycling & Sustainability
- Two beach cleanups and one campus cleanup
- Visited the Nānākuli Farmers Market to learn about food sustainability
- The Mauna Kea march in Waikīkī
- Helping to create sets and props for their school play
Several of the events they planned for the 4th quarter (such as a visit to the garden at the University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu, helping out at Nānākuli Public Library, and donating plants to another PALS group to sell) were ultimately canceled due to COVID-19, the group took the opportunity to volunteer weekly at a Community Food Distribution event that took place on their campus for the remainder of the school year. This allowed them to interact directly with families who were in need of additional resources at that critical time.
By the end of the year, the group had really grown into an ʻohana with a strong sense of pride in their ability to help out in their community through simple actions.