Age | 18

Photographer| Lisa Uesugi

Throughout my time spent here in Hawaii, I have trusted few individuals. Though I have only known her for only so long, Gemma has given me the stability my life needed and has become my grounded foundation. Around her, I feel both motivated and strong. She was primarily the one who continually worked to make the most overwhelming of tasks seem like obstacles well within my ability to overcome. Both very philanthropic and a huge advocate for Hawaii’s foster youth, I am proud of her for her tireless efforts. As a case worker for Hale Kipa, she has committed so much time towards improving the lives of numerous persons, and I believe that her dedication truly shines. My hope for Gemma is for her to continue on the path she is currently on. I know other youth will be touched by her compassion and will share my sentiments of her achieving many great successes in life. Even though she has recently moved from the isles, I want her to know that because of the courage and direction she has instilled in me, I am working harder than ever before to fulfill my dreams of one day becoming a successful psychotherapist in the military.

I am a strong individual, resilient and courageous.
I can become the person I have always strived to be.
I will move forward accomplishing the many dreams and aspirations I hold dearest to my heart.

I have known Jane for almost a year and am amazed by the changes that I have seen in her. When I first met her, she was a teenage girl with little self-esteem and high hopes. She has put forth so much effort and has achieved her goals. I watched her become grounded and stable, graduate from high school, become accepted into college, and make a brave decision to move to the mainland to start a new life for herself. Jane is an absolute joy to be around. She has the ability to make light of any situation and heightens the moods of everyone. She is dedicated to accomplishing new goals and inspires others to do the same. ”Jane, you are brave woman with a warm heart. You are a natural leader and teacher with a promising future ahead of you! I wish you nothing but the best and am confident that you will achieve anything you put your energy into!”

Gemma | Counselor

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