Wednesday, October 22, 2008

9 Advocates of Children and Youth Recognized

Coaches and managers of the Waipio Little League team who championed the 2008 World Little League Series took a break from lunch to take a photo with state lawmakers (back left to right) Rep. Lyla Berg, Rep. John Mizuno, Speaker Calving Say, Rep. Cindy Evans, and Sen. Norman Sakamoto.

The Keiki Caucus, McDonald's Restaurant and Hawaii Children's Trust Fund honored Outstanding Advocates for Children and Youth today at a luncheon at Washington Place.

The winners:

Adult Friends for Youth has provided therapeutic, preventive, intervention, educational, and individual and group mental health support services to high-risk youth across racial divides for over 22 years to break the cycle of violence, despair and unhealthy lifestyles that are often passed down from generation to generation. AFY was nominated by Jean McIntosh.

Natasha Garcia has been an advocate for a diabetes cure over the past 7 years since being diagnosed with Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes at 6 years old. She has participated in several awareness campaigns to educate people on this incurable condition and is driven to empower others to keep the fight and search for a cure alive. She helps to connect newly diagnosed families with veteran families to develop support networks. Garcia was nominated by Manya Levin, executive director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Principal Myron Monte (Dole Middle School) has been a visionary leader for education and has created a culture of achievement by using student-based education that instills in his students the confidence to excel in school and life. He was recognized as the 2008 recipient of the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership because of his extraordinary leadership and commitment to students and staff. Principal Monte was nominated by Keith Besario.

Minna Sugimoto volunteers as a coach for Special Olympics. She is a mentor and friend to children athletes, helping them discover their inner potential and self-worth. She was nominated by Zahid Arab.

The First Tee of Hawaii organization promotes youth development and education by its Life Skills curriculum through the game of golf. The program is free to 40 percent of participants who come from low-income families. Other participants pay only $25 annually. Since the chapter's founding in 2004 it has made a significant impact on approximately 800 of Hawaii's youth between the ages of 7-18 on Oahu, Molokai and Maui. The non-profit was nominated by Ken Zitz, Executive Director.

The Kalihi Education Coalition provides ten $1,000 scholarships annually to well deserving students from schools in the Kalihi District. The non-profit also sponsors the "Kids-in-Sports" program, which requires 5th graders to complete an academic assignment in order to participate in special volleyball, basketball and softball tournaments. Erwin Gabrillo nominated the organization.

Angela Thomas is a dedicated worker with the Good Beginnings Alliance Organization. She has coordinated many programs that help Hawaii children. As project leader for the Baby Steps Program, Thomas has been instrumental in the success of the Baby Basket Program on the Big Island, which provides new mothers and their infants with a start-up basket of essential newborn items. She was nominated by Representative Cindy Evans (D7-N. Kona, S. Kohala).

Gloria Tumbaga, a registered nurse and third-year medical student, is an active volunteer with Aloha Medical Mission, an organization that provides free medical treatment to underserved areas abroad and in Hawaii. She has been on goodwill missions to Micronesia, Laos,
Bangladesh, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Tumbaga was nominated by Joanne Tachibana, President of United Nations Association Hawaii Division.

Waipio Little League 2008 managers and coaches, Timo Donahue, Kiha Akua and Gregg Tugawa, took their team of little leaguers straight to the world championships. They have been inspirational role models to our youth and have nurtured the confidence, skills and sportsmanship of their team. Ty Diaz Cullen nominated the coaches and managers.

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