Youth Empowerment & Success (YES) Hawai‘i is new program administered by Family Programs Hawai‘i, in partnership with EPIC ‘Ohana and the Department of Human Services."Empowering young people impacted by foster care."

Spring deadline for Geist Scholarship is October 2nd


Former foster youth who missed the deadline to apply for the Geist Scholarship in the fall semester have another chance to apply and be awarded a scholarship to cover spring semester.  Students need to include a personal statement and upload some documents, so it is best to work on it ASAP.  Create or log into your account at the Hawaii Community Foundation here:

Surfrider Spirit Sessions

Know a foster youth who is interested in learning to surf?  For more information, contact Sam Rodrigues at 721-5662, or visit www.SurferSpirit.  There are still a few spots left for the girls sessions that start this Saturday.  More details below.

We believe at-risk youth are “Champions in Training” and we are their coaches who support them, and cheer them on to succeed in school, at home and work, and in our community and in life.

We’ve found an innovative and fun way to make youth reform and good citizenry “cool.”  Using surfing and ocean activities, we connect teens to positive role models and help them make better choices and live better lives.  Best of all, kids love us


We combine Hawaiian culture, athletics, socialization, mentoring, peer mentoring, and environmental education to develop new skills, enhance self-esteem, and build pro-social behaviors.  Teens are also supported to think proactively, to improve their relationships, develop healthier support systems, and attain better life skills.


Spirit Sessions consists of 8 consecutive Saturdays (4 hours) conducted by staff and volunteer surf mentors.  Every student is matched with a dedicated surf mentor. Each session begins with a life theme.  After surfing, the group assembles for lunch and to recognize their accomplishments, challenges and journal their experience.  They set goals and discuss how the surf theme applies to their life.  Sessions also include a mini environmental lesson with Hawaiian cultural perspectives and end with “Malama Aina” beach clean-up to collect cigarette butts. Graduates may choose to become Jr. Mentors to other youth at Spirit Session events and participate in an internship or work program.


Teens can be directed to the program through Judges and Probation Officers, social service agencies and youth support organizations, school counselor, or referred by an adult or parent.


  • FALL – September 16 to November 4

Girl’s Session – noon to 4pm

  • Special Surf Community Events. Please inquire for dates.
  • Inquire about setting up a private session for your youth

LOCATION: Kuhio Beach Surf Break in Waikiki by the Duke Kahanamoku Statue.

COST: Surfrider Spirit Sessions is FREE to all qualified youth ages 13-17.

TRANSPORATION:  Transportation not included. Youth must provide their own transportation to and from sessions.

Free Performances of “A Day in the Life”

Save the Date for FREE public performances of the play “A Day in the Life.” It is part of a campaign to bring greater awareness, understanding, and advocacy for young people exploited in human sex trafficking. Stay to speak with a panel of community members to discuss Hawaii’s response the commercial sexual exploitation of children after the play.

Please note the language and subject matter in A Day In The Life is uncensored and raw. Recommended for ages 12+. The play is performed by the Good Capp Art Ensemble.

“A Day in the Life” has toured cities throughout the US and brings a human face to the commercial sexual exploitation of young people. The powerful and riveting production will serve as a the spring board for the workshop’s agenda including a presentation by survivors of sex trafficking in Hawaii, a panel discussion on the societal and legal issues, and advocacy and resources available to assist victims of sex trafficking. Katie Capiello, the ensemble director, is an award winning theater teacher and play writer who has been honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in human trafficking and Project Impact, a leadership-through story telling workshop for youth and adult human trafficking survivors in New York. The production features actors and activist, ages 14-20, who tell the stories of youth survivors. These young activists have been vocal in their communities and schools about this issue and have lobbied alongside survivors in New York to decriminalize and fund programs to help victims of sex trafficking.

For questions please email or call (808) 546-0439.

Showings are:
Saturday, August 26, 2017 @ 1:00 PM
Kamehameha Schools, 1887 Makuakane St., HNL
Room: RSVP for update on specific building  at

Monday, August 28, 2017 @ 1:30 PM
U.H. School of Law
Moot Court Room
2515 Dole Street, Honolulu.
Parking in the parking structure on Lower Campus Road
RSVP and further information:

Planning and Support for this campaign provided by:  Susannah Wesley Community Center, Parents And Children Together, Hale Kipa, the Child Justice Center and it’s Interagency Committee on the Child Justice Act Grant, Friends of CASA-Hawaii (the Court Appointed Special Advocate’s program), The State of Hawaii-Judiciary and the Court Improvement Project, Domestic Violence Action Center, EPIC `Ohana, and the Department of Human Services.

Apply now for ETV funds for college

ETV Applications for Fall 2017 are available at
Do you need more money for education?
Does this sound like YOU:
 Between the ages of 18 -21 [or 22 if you received ETV $ when you were 21]
 Aged out of DHS Foster Care at 18 or older; or
 Adopted at age 16 or older from DHS foster care; or
 Legal guardianship to a relative at age 16 or older from DHS foster care.
 Attending an accredited institution of higher education
 Making satisfactory progress [“C” or better]
 Need more money for education and have a budget that is reasonable regarding the cost of attendance at your school?

If this sounds like you, apply for ETV free Federal money – This is not a loan.
ETV Awards can go up to $5,000.00 per year – based on need.
Young adults in a DHS program like Imua Kakou (Extended Foster Care), Extended Adoption or Guardianship Assistance, and Higher Ed may be eligible.

Not sure if you may be eligible? File an application and DHS will figure out if you are eligible. If you have questions or need help, contact your worker, GAL or one of the Independent Living Providers listed below:

Kauai: Hale ‘Opio, 808-245-2873,
O‘ahu: Hale Kipa, 808-589-1829 ext. 251,
Maui: Maui Youth and Family Services, 808-579-8414,
Hawai‘I Island: The Salvation Army – Family Intervention Services, East Hawai‘i: 808-959-5855, West Hawai‘i: 808-323-8174,

Application period opens:  May 1, 2017
Last day to file an application:  August 15, 2017
Awards will be issued on or about September 21, 2017