As we close out 2023, we’re proud of the resilience we’ve seen from our schools, communities, and families in Hawaiʻi. While there has been much shared and individual trauma and adversity, there have been so many examples of kindness and generosity.

It is not too late to provide additional support to families on Maui this holiday season. Check out the Maui Nui initiative from the County of Maui to support small businesses and learn about events. Housing is also a critical need, and Maui Hale Match is a way to connect homeowners to displaced Maui locals. The Kākoʻo Maui Fund and Maui Strong Fund remain streamlined ways to lend support.

Wishing you health and happiness this holiday season.

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Project highlights

In the midst of the pandemic, our partnership launched the Resilient Communities, Families and Schools project, designed to ensure equitable access to education by empowering schools in disadvantaged and/or rural communities to strengthen community partnerships, promote trauma sensitive practice and enhance coordination of wrap-around prevention/intervention services for children and families.

The first year of the Resilient Community Schools Partnership focused on setting a strong foundation for the project in the following areas: partnership development; school selection, onboarding and coordination; planning the content and delivery of Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) professional development; coordinating the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) mini-grants and ASCA-Certification; Community Schools outreach; and the ‘Ohana Resilience Intervention development. The subsequent years of the project focused on strengthening this foundation, learning from our communities and adjusting our model to be more responsive to each community’s unique needs, building capacity to expand the community schools model, and providing outstanding service delivery to the communities we serve.

While not fully capturing the experience of these last few years, here are some data highlights from the project.


We are excited to finally have our own standalone project website at! This site is designed to be a one stop shop to provide information on the project and updates. Big mahalo to Marion Ano of Wahine Coder for her amazing work on our new digital hale. We strongly encourage our friends and partners to share the site broadly to keep expanding the impact of the project.

Resilience Resources

Check out We Are Oceania’s 6th annual Micronesian Youth Summit on February 17 at the Hawaii Convention Center! This is an empowering opportunity for youth to connect and learn.


As part of pre-conference events for the Pac Rim Conference hosted by Center on Disability Studies (CDS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Education, check out the Symposium on Postsecondary Transition of Neurodivergent Students Having Potential in STEM.


Wise Interventions focus on the meanings and inferences people draw about themselves, other people, or a situation they are in. Using precise, theory- and research-based techniques, wise interventions help people draw adaptive meanings that allow them accomplish their goals and flourish.

From Papa Ola Lokahi: 1 in 4 adults in the United States have some type of disability, and to varying degrees, can impact their ability to care for themselves, work, or go to school. Creating equity and improving the quality of life for disabled persons is the kuleana of every government, and embracing those developments is the kuleana of every community.

Resources like the Hawai’i Disability Rights Center and the Pacific Disabilities Center offer support for those in need of legal advice or medical care, and the Hawai‘i Aging and Disability Resource Center provides options for long-term support and services available across the pae ‘āina.


Take Action

The long-term goal of the Resilient Communities, Schools and Families project is to build long-term resilience, well-being and community abundance. As such, the project goes beyond communities and children merely surviving difficult situations, but instead finding their own strength and thriving. We hope to cultivate a spirit of hope and possibility to support the holistic wellbeing of the students of today and tomorrow. Please let us know if you can join this movement.

Don’t forget to follow the project on social media!

  1. Facebook (Designed as a group vs page to enable more community discussion and engagement):
  2. Twitter@RCSFHawaii
  3. Instagram@ResilientcommunityHI

Take Action Now

Consortium Partners


This work is a true community effort and is made possible through the generous support of our partners, including:

  • Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund at the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation
  • The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • U.S. Department of Education Native Hawaiʻi Education Program #S362A210059

David is the founding executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN. He lives in Honolulu, HI.


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