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April

Updated: 6 days ago

Our series of ʻōpio spotlights highlight some of Hawaiʻi Island's strengths and serves to redefine success, proving that the best and brightest aren't leaving—they're contributing, leading, and making a significant impact in our communities.


Steven Kaiawa Olono Manner, 25, was raised in Puna on the Island of Hawai'i and is both an entrepreneur and educator with a deep passion for fostering community resilience.

 

"My journey has led me to the Entrepreneur Hub provided by Puna Rising's Entrepreneur Hub Director, Sylvia Dolena, where I'm honing my business skills and my community capacity. This experience in the entrepreneur hub has been invaluable as I prepare to transition from Assistant Director to Executive Director of Puna Rising. Puna Rising plays a supplemental role in our community by providing essential community resources such as our Facebook Group, Puna Happenings, which boasts 16.2k local members, and our newsletter with over 2k subscribers. Our Talk Story program celebrates local artists, community heroes, and events, showcasing the richness of our community."


"My background is rooted in a deep connection to my Hawaiian heritage. Growing up, my family instilled in me the values of aloha ʻāina and kuleana, guiding me to care for our land and community. After graduating from the Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts and Science in Pāhoa, I immersed myself in the world of technology, working as a STEM program assistant. This experience revealed to me the vast gap in tech literacy within our community, inspiring me to found my own AI Web Development company, Olono Web Solutions, through this venture, I aim to bridge the digital divide and empower businesses to thrive online."

"Alongside my entrepreneurial pursuits, I'm deeply committed to community service through Puna Rising. As the Assistant Director of this community-first organization, I'm dedicated to providing Puna with the support and resources it needs to thrive."


"Mahalo nui for the opportunity to share my story. I look forward to continuing to serve our community and inspire others to pursue their passions. I would also like to thank one of the biggest reasons I have the capacity to do any of this. None of this would be possible without the support of my partner: Skink Carrero."

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1 Comment


gatorjmp
May 14

I am so proud of Steven “Kai” Olono Manner and his service to his community! It’s a joy to know that our youth continues to take time to dedicate their lives to organizations that contribute to others and encourage the Hawaiian culture and to take pride in their heritage! I am encouraged to know that such a fine young man seeks leadership and feels the need to give back to others. Mahalo, Kai!

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