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'OAKA Ambassador Update

We are halfway through the Spring 2024 Ambassadorship Program, and here are some moments that call for celebration. 


Ambassadors Gianina, Kawehi and Kalaʻi engaged over  250 students from St. Joseph School, Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts and Sciences, Honokaʻa High, Waiākea High, Ke Kula ʻO ʻEhunuikaimalino and Pāhoa High & Intermediate through Adulting 101 Workshops that aim to boost individual resilience, foster professional development and build confidence through skill-building among participants. 

Workshops that are currently being offered are: the Art of Interviews, Building a Professional Profile, Hands-Only CPR & AED Training, Financial Resilience, and Mālamama: Active Listening. From learning the basics on how to prepare for an interview, to learning life-saving skills, to practicing the core components of how to embody a compassionate presence - students are given the opportunity to get exposed to elements of adulthood that will allow them to thrive. If you are a young adult and want to become an Adulting 101 Trainer, email


“The workshops we present are ones I would have really appreciated as a high school student. Vibrant Hawaiʻi’s vision to create a new generation of Hawaiʻi’s best and brightest can truly be realized through this process, and I’m stoked to be a part of it.” - Kalaʻi Ishibashi


At its core, ʻOAKA challenges the narrative that the Best and The Brightest individuals are leaving the island. Young adults empower youth to realize that success can be achieved through seeking and pursuing opportunities here on Hawaiʻi Island. Its importance lies in recognizing our local talent at home, and creating opportunities for their gifts to give back to the people and places that raised them. The activation of kuleana and contributing in meaningful ways to Hawaiʻi island is one of the indicators youth have identified as success. Reframing the collective definition of success is what will ultimately drive the shift away from believing that the opportunities that take us far exist beyond where we call home. 


The ʻOAKA Ambassador Program is designed for youth who are taking a gap year, and want to boost their personal and professional development. In August, ʻOAKA will open the application window for the 2024 Ambassador cohort. If you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity, subscribe to our ‘OAKA newsletter.


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