Message From The President
Welcome to Alaka`ina, where our mission is to create opportunities for Hawai`i’s youth in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education programs, including initiatives that promote a healthy sustainable lifestyle and environment.
What began as a vision by founder Vaughn Vasconcellos and the Alaka`ina Foundation, our non-profit now supports multiple educational endeavors.
Our Digital Bus program offers an exciting and dynamic approach to stimulating interest in science and technology. Currently operating on Maui and Moloka`i, this program has been embraced by local school districts and is proving to be an effective educational approach.
Providing scholarships for next generation leaders that focus on leadership and mentorship remains an integral part of our educational agenda.
Our Board of Directors are committed to fulfilling our mission. Most of our Board Members are of part-Hawaiian descent, and most are graduates of Kamehameha Schools and recipients of Princess Bernice Pauahi’s gift of education. Our career experiences in the military, public safety and education provide us with the values important to our vision.
In addition, our shared background imparted a set of principles that guide our Non-Profit’s work. These principles are embedded in the Hawaiian language, `Ōlelo No`eau (Words of Wisdom):
- Pūpūkahi i holomua
- Unite to move forward
- By working together we make progress. This saying would be especially applicable to the Hawaiians in their canoes, where all paddlers must pull together on command in order for the canoe to move forward swiftly.
- `Onipa`a Mau Loa
- (Be) steadfast always
- Take your stand and be steadfast in doing what is right no matter what others say. This was the motto of Queen Lili`uokalani.
- Kūlia i ka nu`u
- Strive for the summit
- Strive for the very top of the mountain; strive for excellence. This was the motto of Hawai`i’s Queen Kapi`olani, who did so much for her people.
Grounded in these three principles, Alaka`ina strives to ensure that today’s young men and women of Hawai`i have the skills and competencies they will need to be effective as tomorrow’s leaders. I invite you to browse these pages and learn more about our work.
- Me Ke Aloha,
- David Mortensen