Indigenizing Summer Youth Workforce through Education
The vision of the Kamoleao Laulima Community Resource Center or also known as the Kamoleao project is to provide a cultural and educational center that promotes Hawaiian culture and education, economic development and environmental stewardship that strengthens individuals, families, and the community.
In carrying out the vision of Kamoleao, the Kamoleao project has hosted nearly 2500 volunteers over 131 workdays since November 2009. The project’s main source of labor has been community status inmates from Hawaii Community Correctional Center work line in combination with UHH and HawaiiCC college students, and community youth and adults. Out of the 2500 volunteers, over 800 were community status inmates and over 400 were youth (<18 years old). The remaining 1300 or so were volunteers referred by instructors from various HawaiiCC courses like HSER 110, HSER 293, IS 101, Forest Team and Agriculture and community members of the surrounding area.
Summer 2012 at Kamoleao has been super busy. For the months of May and June 2012, Kamoleao hosted 6 HawaiiCC students who are Kamehameha Schools Higher Education Scholarship recipients to complete their community service hours at Kamoleao. These native Hawaiian students majored in Administration of Justice, Liberal Arts, and Nursing. Work day activities were led by UHH Environmental Science student intern and community service volunteer from the Dept. of Public Safety. Students learned about cultivating kalo with kupuna Uncle Henry Leong. Uncle Henry shared his mana`o (knowledge) and told stories of old times when he was taught about planting kalo by his father and grandfather. Uncle Henry demonstrated preparing the huli for planting and students followed and learned by listening, observing and doing.
Visiting work groups from UHH Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) and HawaiiCC Summer Youth Academy (SYA) use Kamoleao as a “classroom without walls” so to speak to help with kalo mala (garden) maintenance and corn cultivation activities respectively. UHH PIPES group consisted of 31 baccalaureate graduates entering into their graduate level fields of study and the SYA group consisted of 8 high school students.
The 2012 Summer program at Kamoleao working with youth is also in alignment with the Kamoleao vision. Strategically, Hawaiian language, traditions and practices are imbedded in all summer youth workforce development field and classroom activities. Simultaneously, all activities educate about Hawaiian culture, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This summer, the Kamoleao project partnered with Alu Like, Inc. (ALI) and Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center (QLCC), Cultural Surveys Hawaii, Inc., Hawaii Rainbow Worms, HawaiiCC Agriculture and Forest Team programs, UHH Environmental Science and Sociology programs to provide in-kind and monetary resources for summer activities at Kamoleao.
The Kamoleao project hosted (7) youth participants of the Alu Like, Inc. Summer Youth Employment & Training program (SYETP), (3) QLCC youth clients, (1) UHH Environmental Science student intern, (1) UHH Sociology student intern. The 4-week long program ran Monday – Thursdays 7am-3pm. Mondays were designated for “sustainability activities” in a classroom setting on campus. Activities included making crème soda and ginger ale from scratch, vermiculture (worm composting make & take worm bins activity), entomology (taking a closer look at insects gathered from Kamoleao), ti-leaf lei making with ti-leaves gathered from Kamoleao, Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping activity that mapped the native plants in the community garden area of Kamoleao, anthropology (examining the cultural survey of Kamoleao), and geneology research. QLCC provided funding for4-wk supply of snacks and menu for pa`ina (end of program celebration) that hosted 35 participants and guests. A power point highlighting summer program at Kamoleao was presented, guests and supporters were thanked and recognized, and youth were awarded certificates of successful completion.
Now that our Summer 2012 program at Kamoleao has ended, we are now planning, coordinating, and collaborating work day schedule for the Fall 2012 semester.