Big Island Youth to Attend National Youth Leadership Institute in Tennessee

North Hawai’i Drug-Free Coalition is pleased to announce the three Hawai’i Island youth delegates (and two adult advisors) who will attend to National Youth Leadership Institute (NYLI) at CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) Mid-Year Conference in Nashville, Tennessee July 23-26.

Youth delegates were selected by a team of 5 NHDFC leaders, based on a student essay. Youth shared their past efforts to support drug-free communities; what they felt was the biggest risk factor for youth in North Hawai’i; what ideas/actions they have to reduce underage drinking or prevent substance abuse in their local (home and school) communities; and what they are hoping to gain from attending the conference.

The youth delegates representing North Hawai’i at this year’s conference are: Ms. Makanani Akau, Waimea resident, attends Honoka’a High School (10th grade); Ms. Hoku’ulaikalei’ohu Pagan, Waimea resident, attends Waimea Middle School (8th grade), and Mr. Kynan Kawai, Hawi resident, attends Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i (Kea’au).
The adult advisors are: Beth Mehau from The Pantry/Mama’s House Lifeplan Program (Waimea) and David Fuertes from Ka Hana No’eau Mentorship Program (Kapa’au). Additionally, Cielito Rooney, North Hawai’i Drug-Free Coalition leader representing the parent sector in Waikoloa will attend.
Youth will receive four days of training to develop leadership capacity in mobilizing communities for change and will develop a plan of action to address local issues and contribute to a healthy, drug-free community. Adult advisors receive training on how to support youth leaders and commit to helping them implement their plan in the year following the training.
North Hawai’i Drug-Free Coalition is a regional network of community groups and agency representatives from North Hawai’i whose mission is to facilitate coordination and collaborative action among communities, organizations, and government agencies to prevent and reduce substance abuse.

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