Nathanael Endo, WHS Valedictorian, Headed to West Point

The following excerpts are from Allyson Blair’s “Waianae’s valedictorian heading to West Point” (Hawaii News Now, 5/28/15).

Waianae High grad is headed to one of the most prestigious schools in the country.

For Nathanael Endo, graduation marks another milestone on his path to West Point.  A goal the Valedictorian’s prepared for since freshman year.

The second youngest of 11, Nathanael Endo comes from a family with strong ties to the Army, Air Force and Marines.  A tradition he’s determined to carry on. “I feel very special to be able to compete with people that I consider as super humans since they are super athletic as well as super smart,” said Nathanael Endo.

“He’s a battallion commander of 249 cadets this year,” said Master Sgt. Rego. [Master Sgt. Hines Rego has taught J-R-O-T-C at Waianae High School for 12 years].

Nathaniel Endo’s also participated in dozens of community service projects all while maintaining a grade point average above 4.0.

Endo’s father is an Army man himself and can’t help but smile as he talks about his son’s accomplishments.

“Very very proud yea. He represents what can come out of Waianae,” said Calvin Endo. Nathanael Endo says he leaves next month for West Point.

Read the full story.

Housing First Recipient Wins Battle Against Chronic Homelessness

HCA HeaderHousing First Recipient Uses Financial Education, Match Savings, and Rental Subsidy to Win Battle Against Chronic Homelessness

From: Hawaiian Community Assets []
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 12:15 AM

By Samantha Champion

WAIANAE, HI – Victoriano Ortiz, a 52-year old Native Hawaiian man, first came Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) in January 2011 while staying at the Kumuhonua Transitional Shelter. Having spent decades living on the beach with no roof over his head, he found opportunity to break the cycle of homelessness through financial education.

“My case managers told me about HCA and I took advantage of (the financial education services) because I was tired of being homeless and wanted to improve my financial situation,” shared Victoriano, who struggled to find an affordable rental on social security disability income of $674 per month.

Working with HCA’s counselors, he completed a 4-hour Kahua Waiwai Financial Education Workshop series and received one-on-one counseling to create and follow a monthly budget, develop a savings plan, improve his credit, and learn how to become a financially qualified renter.


Over the next three and half years Victoriano met regularly with HCA counselors and worked closely with his case managers at Kumuhonua and later, Onelauena, to find rental housing he could afford. Even with housing program fees of $350 per month, he diligently followed his budget, adjusting when changes needed to be made and saved into his Trust account at Onelauena.  Continue reading

Town ma MAʻO 2015: 6/13/15 from 5PM – 9PM in Waiʻanae

Click image to enlarge.

Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM (HST) at MAʻO Organic Farms, Waiʻanae Moku, 86-148 Puhawai Road, Waiʻanae 96792. Click image to enlarge.

MAʻO is a celebration of our abundance of our ʻaina and lāhui. In our journey forward, we realize that our current and future moʻolelo is about our return to our piko, to our moʻokuʻauhau, to our roots, to the foundation and basis from which we are able to voyage forward. Join MAʻO and Town restaurant to celebrate our moʻokuʻauhau and moʻolelo! This is a very special annual event, please buy your tickets in advance at:

Town ma MAʻO 2015 catalyzes our continued commitment to our roots, to our geneology as a resilient and powerful people that are rooted in a place with a powerful practice of aloha ʻāina!

Mahalo to our beloved Town and their fearless leader Ed Kenney (and the wonderful Town ʻohana) for all that they do to support our keiki, families and communities. We love and appreciate that you continue to co-produce this amazing gathering!

Please celebrate with us the restoration of ancestral abundance for our future generations as we continue to write and live our kākou moʻolelo of love, respect and a willingness to work.

Mahalo nui!

Candy Suiso: 2015 YWCA LeaderLuncheon Honoree

The 38th WWCA Annual LeaderLuncheon was held on May 27, 2015 in the Hawai`i Ballroom at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

This year the YWCA of O‘ahu recognized four inspirational women leaders for the contributions they have made to their profession and in their community, one of whom is LaJuaine “Candy” Suiso.


Founded in 1900, the YWCA is the largest and oldest continuous service organization devoted to women and children in the State of Hawai‘i. Since 1977, the YWCA of O‘ahu has recognized more than 160 extraordinary and inspiring women who exemplify the mission of the YWCA: leadership; growth in opportunities for women; the pursuit of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people; and eliminating racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary.

LaJuaine “Candy” Suiso co-founded Searider Productions at Wai‘anae High School in 1993. The program has grown into the largest digital media program in the State of Hawai‘i, integrating journalism, video production, photography, graphic arts, and animation. Program students have been recognized with local, national, and international awards for their work. Candy is now the Executive Director of the nonprofit Searider Productions Foundation.

Born and raised in Wai‘anae, Candy has spent over 20 years as a teacher at Wai‘anae High School. She has leveraged her role as an educator to create new norms of excellence in public education, mentored many aspiring teachers, and collaborated on a post-secondary edu-preneurial program called the Kauhale Youth Education and Entrepreneurship Initiative to support student transition, matriculation and graduation from a college or university. In 1999 she won a National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation. She also serves on the boards of the Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and Public Broadcast System Hawai‘i.

The Twenty-Eighth Legislature congratulates LaJuaine “Candy” Suiso as a 2015 YWCA of O‘ahu Women Leaders honoree, and extends heartfelt thanks for her many years of exemplary community service.