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Although we are living on an island in paradise, our young people generally struggle with low educational achievement coupled with high unemployment rates, which results in incidences of suicide ideation and threat, interpersonal conflict, domestic violence, and substance abuse. To achieve healthy communities, we must have educated families and individuals.

In Hawaii, less than 40% of the students complete a 4-year degree. Over the course of a 40-year career, there is verifiable data that a college graduate earns nearly $1 million more than a student with just a high school degree—and that an income gap has more than tripled since 1980.

To help in addressing issues of poverty, abuse, employment readiness, economic crisis, and chronic joblessness, we would like to partner with three programs: The Relationship Literacy Program, Strive For College, and Educate.

The Relationship Literacy Program (RLP) is an abuse and violence prevention program promoting healthy social relationships. RLP’s comprehensive approach is a culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate one across a life span. With programs currently operating in schools, correctional institutions, and treatment programs for more than a decade, the program covers important areas such as the role human relationships play to develop cohesive personal and social identity.

RLP informs participants of the diverse, often overlooked patterns of relationship abuse and violence including efforts toward prevention as well as individual rights and corresponding responsibilities, and valuable self-management skills, both emotional and behavioral, and the tenets and tools necessary to effect healthier relationships. RLP takes such an approach to impact greater knowledge, attitude, and motivation. For more information, visit

Strive For College is a nationally known non-profit organization dedicated to the issue of college access for low-income students. By alleviating the inequality in access to higher education, SFC helps students break the cycle of poverty not only for them but also their families. Additionally, SFC is currently operating in 10 cities nationwide.

SFC is proposing to bring its model to Hawaii. This program can help close the income gap between those with a high school diploma and students with a college degree thereby helping to raise families on the island out of poverty. For more information, visit

Educate is an internationally recognized program currently working with more than 100,000 diverse high school students across Uganda. Educate is helping them to affect real change in their communities through the establishment of industry.

With focus on training youth as leaders and social entrepreneurs, the curriculum is a new model of education that teaches students ways to sustainably solve intractable problems of poverty, disease, violence, and environmental degradation through entrepreneurship. These programs will help prepare young people and their families across the island for sustainable success. For more information, visit

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