Summer programs cultivate leaders of today, tomorrow

Although applications for Pi‘ina Hoku, or rising stars, a youth leadership program for teens who will be high school juniors next year, were due May 15, there’s still time to join the adult program.

Applications for Leadership Kaua‘i’s 2006-07 annual Leadership Program for adults are due July 11, a press release states, and both programs will begin in August.

This will be the third year of adult classes.

“The success we’ve enjoyed in that program helped us develop the youth leadership program,” Mike Murakoshi, president of Leadership Kaua‘i’s Board of Directors, states in the release.

“Pi‘ina Hoku is the logical next step in our efforts to instill in individuals the skills they need to be effective leaders in our community,” executive director Tim Bynum says.

Last year, Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Annie Sinclair Knudsen Memorial Fund awarded an initial grant for $5,000 to Leadership Kaua‘i for a group of five graduates to develop a detailed work plan for Pi‘ina Hoku, the release states.

The youth leadership initiative was developed by graduates Theresa Koki, Mel Rapozo, Denise Tripoli, Kathryn Williams and Art Williams. Koki led the group to create a work plan and funding request, which generated another grant from HCF for $30,000 to kick off the program. Colleen Edwards was recently hired as program manager to spearhead the program full-time.

Pi‘ina Hoku will run through April with a kick-off weekend “Blazing Adventures” retreat at Koke‘e State Park. The theme of the retreat will be “Nui na ala hele o ka mauna,” or, “The mountain has many paths.” During the retreat, participating youth will learn about finding their way in the wilderness while hiking trails in the Koke‘e Forest above the Na Pali Coast and discuss basic human values of right and wrong, justice, love and caring, the release states.

The retreat will also cover topics such as Kaua‘i’s historical roots with mentor and Leadership Kaua‘i Cultural Consultant Puna Kalama Dawson. After the retreat, monthly classes will be held throughout the island and cover topics like leadership, success, attitude, goal setting, effective communication, decision-making and problem-solving. The program will end with a retreat at Waipa and a formal graduation ceremony.

“The personal empowerment that young participants gain will serve them and their communities forever,” Edwards states in the release.

Adult participants in the Annual Leadership Program will also engage in diverse activities, training and interactive presentations. Past presenters have included Gov. Linda Lingle, Alexander and Baldwin CEO Allen Doane, former governor George Ariyoshi, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Moon and University of Hawai‘i athletics director Herman Frazier.

For more information about Leadership Kaua‘i, visit or call 246-8727.


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