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Our Vision & Mission

Hāmākua Youth Center is dedicated to the children and young adults of the Hāmākua Coast. We began serving youth in 1996 when a grassroots group of community members saw the need for youth to have a safe place during non-school hours. For 13 years, the YWCA supported and sponsored the youth center. In 2009, the Hāmākua Youth Foundation, Inc. was established as a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization to support the Hāmākua Youth Center in a new phase of growth in the grassroots mission to create nurturing and dynamic youth-centered activities for youth from six to eighteen years of age.

Our Vision is that Hāmākua youth have access to unconditional support and guidance in life skills essential to their growth into kind, engaged, and inspired young adults. Our Mission is to open doorways to the world by sharing life skills rooted in the Hawaiian values of kuleana, aloha, laulima, and mahalo.


Mālama i kou kuleana

Take care of your responsibilities


Aloha kekahi i kekahi

Love one another


E kuahui like i ka hana

Let everyone work together


Mahalo i ka mea loaʻa 

Be thankful for all that you have


Our programs engage these values to cultivate the awareness necessary for Hāmākua youth to thrive both here and beyond.

Vision & Mission
Our Impact

What We Do: For 26 years the Hāmākua Youth Center has provided safe, low cost, and enriching programs to high risk area youth. Our extracurricular programming blends academic learning and experiential life skills to enrich the lives of our students and their families. Through our Keiki Programs, elementary-aged children are provided with place-based multicultural learning opportunities, homework assistance and personalized tutoring, and experiential learning through agriculture, food preparation, arts and crafts, music, and a variety of field trips. Our ʻŌpio Programs expand these opportunities for area teens, including advanced multicultural learning opportunities, experiential learning in additional areas such as internships, and access to three locally-supported scholarships for recent high school graduates. 


Our Impact: The Hāmākua Youth Center offers low cost after school alternatives and summer programs for at-risk youth from across the Hāmākua district. Our staff and volunteers take a personal approach to every youth entering the door, with an emphasis on life-long learning and building self-esteem. Since August 2021, HYC has:

  • Enrolled 34 keiki in our 2021-2022 after school learning support and enrichment program

  • Enrolled 22 keiki and ʻōpio in our 2022 summer program

  • Enrolled 39 keiki and 8 ʻōpio in our 2022-2023 after school learning support and enrichment program

  • Provided personalized assessment and tutoring in reading and math on the Let’s Go Learn tutoring program

  • Provided enrichment programs in Hawaiian and multicultural education and place-based huakaʻi (field trips) from mauka to makai

  • Distributed nearly 1,000 kokua bags with fresh veggies, locally-sourced proteins, and starches to our youth, families, and local kupuna

  • Partnered with the Honokaʻa Business Association to provide five graduating Honokaʻa High seniors with scholarships to attend college or a career/technical program of their choice

Want to learn more about our impact? Take a stroll down memory lane through our annual Year in Review...

2022 Year in Review PIC.png
2021 HYF A Year in Review
Meet the Team




Mahealani Maikuʻi, Program Director

Bree Johnsen, Assistant Program Director

Allison Loando, Activities Specialist


Gigi Davidson, Organizational Director



Carl Sims III


Board of Directors

Teri Sugg, President

Jack Zimmerman, Vice President

Maurice Miranda, Treasurer

Diane Scheurell, Secretary

Kauakea Winston, Director

Jonathan Zeichner, Director




We are currently accepting applications for an Organizational Director!

Click HERE for additional information.

Contact Us


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