Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Youth Of Hawaii....

a couple former students at middle school today...
There is a spot in my heart especially for the youth. It's been developing over time and just gets a bit bigger as I see Kainoa growing up. It began on a mission trip teaching in Central America to a bunch of children left on the streets by parents who didn't know what to do with them, they were put into a shelter to live till somebody, anybody would come pick them up. Some days you just cry because you want to take them all home, other days you are not even teaching because nothing is even getting in their heads, instead all you do is hug them till they stop feeling the pain of being left behind without knowing why.
Veterinary medicine was my first major in college, then I switched to marine biology...after that trip I ultimately switched to teaching. And from there landed in Hawaii working with the youth of the Big Island. Oh some days were so frustrating, like pulling teeth. Other days you wanted to stay in the class all day because things were going so well and you felt like you were making a difference.
2008 teaching and I said our goodbyes and here I am living a dream racing triathlon. You better believe my heart still thinks of all the children that ever walked into my class. Of course teaching is always going to be there and in this moment I'm loving the life I have with sport, however, if there was some tiny way to still help, (because my plate is too full to do as much), it would settle that restless teacher in me for the moment. AND then this:
The Kona California Scholarship! Odie Sumi, one of our islands top "water men" and his friend had a dream a few years ago, "to provide a way for the youth of Hawaii to get off the rock if they want to for an education". You can click the link and read all about it. Thanks to Odie giving me an opportunity to be one of the ambassadors for Hawaii, you better believe without even thinking it over I said yes! The scholarship raises funds for high school graduates that wouldn't be able to even think about college without support, so the Kona California Scholarship raises money and selects 3 winners each year who will have a little help making their dream of an education possible.
I am so happy about this, it's dear to my heart. This weekend I was able to see a lot of the high schoolers that are part of our swim team graduate, it was incredible (graduation rate in the islands isn't that big, and those that attend college is very slim). Today we took a visit to the middle school and there I saw a handful of my former 3rd graders. It was a good day, (wrapped in hard training to make it painfully perfect again today).
Anyways...the scholarship has taken over that little "help the youth" spot in my heart. Knowing my son is growing up here I want more opportunities for him too. So finally, after all this time (you know how most pros donate or race for a cause), I finally found one I want to raise for...this Kona California Scholarship. That means I get to donate a part of my race earnings to the youth of Hawaii. The other goal is to launch another Wahine Bikini ride, like we did last year to raise funds. I'll fill you in on that later, we have till December to get the funds in...
Tio and I, he was a favorite student. I had him in tears because I never let him give up and he had me in tears because he never gave up...


And of course a little fun with Wendy's students...because the youth are so cool, excuse the poor video uploading skills, find the play arrow and click on it, it works...

Love up and encourage a child, you might be the only one that helps them believe and everyone needs to know somebody believes in them!


PS!! Another cool thing happened today, the REV3 Costa Rica Triathlon registration opened today! That's the good news...the sad part is, it will fill up fast, hurry up if you are considering this race! Happy Training & Happy moments with children!!


Christi said...

You are an inspiration!

Regina said...

That is so cool. Nice video. My sister is a social worker in an inner city school in LA; one of the lowest performing schools in the city. She loves her kids and arranged a career fair for them. Part of this included getting the National Guard to come land a helicopter on the school grounds! She has a ton of professionals coming to speak to the kids and help inspire them. My sister is amazing. You remind me of her.