Young Bros. helps make a difference

A group of Waimea High School peer education students were the recipients of a $1,000 grant from Young Brothers Foundation Tuesday.

The funds will be used to sponsor a training seminar for the “Who I Am Makes a Difference” project July 8 and 9. Six students made their way to the County’s Moikeha Building at lunch hour to receive the contribution from Young Brothers Kauai manager Wendall Kam and Community Advisory Board chairwoman Wendy Shibata.

The Who I Am Makes a Difference project allows people to acknowledge to each other their importance in the community and each other’s lives, and was founded by Helice “The Spark” Bridges, who will be leading the training seminar next month.

It’s working as drug prevention on Kauai, noted County Drug Programs Coordinator Roy T. Nishida, who was also on hand for the check presentation. In April, a drug prevention summit was held at the Kauai Marriott with over 400 high school and middle school students islandwide. Who I Am Makes a Difference was part of the day-long seminar. Next school year a similar conference is planned with about 300 high school and 100 middle school students.

Peer education teacher Ginny Hori is helping the students create partnerships with Rotary clubs, the Kauai County Council and other community groups.

“I’m doing this because I plan on coming back and teaching,” said Oliver Moniz, a 2003 graduate. Moniz’ current plans include attending Valley City College in North Dakota and to continue playing baseball there. With the exception of Moniz, all the students are about to start their senior year at Waimea High School. They all agreed on one thing: They want more safe and drug- and alcohol-free activities for teens and youth.

“We want to make a difference, to change things,” said Alexis Nawai. “To make things better,” added classmate Llara Liberato.

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