Oct 30, 2013

Wai'ale'ale Students Spirit Food Drive for Kaua`i Independent Food Bank

This is a student-driven initiative as a part of what the Wai`ale`ale students are calling "Spirit Week" for our program.  It's great to see enthusiastic students demonstrating leadership and community service, so please support them if you can. ~ Kimo Perry, Wai`ale`ale Project Coordinator

Wai'ale'ale Project Student Food Drivefor Kaua'i Independent Food Bank's
2013 Holiday Food Drive

October 28 - December 1

Kick-off week is Oct 28 - Nov 1

Look for the red wagon by our event tents this week

  • Weds, Oct 30:  10 am - 4:00 pm
  • Fri, Nov 1:   8:30 am - 12:30 pm
All November long, drop cans at: 

  • Bevin's office (LRC 114) in the tutoring center or at 
  • Kimo's office in Media Services of the LRC.

The Kaua`i Independent Food Bank distributes food through six important venues on Kaua`i and provides thousands of meals for the hungry. For more information see: http://kauaifoodbank.org/ or call director Kelvin Moniz at 246-3809.

Posted by:
Bevin Parker-Evans

Oct 29, 2013

Wai`ale`ale Project Student Lisa Rapozo Brings Kaua`i Community Together to Save Hule`ia River and Nawiliwili Bay Watershed

On Saturday, October 19th, and Sunday, October 20th, over 30 Kaua`i Community College students and faculty members joined as many members of the Rotary Club of Kaua`i and Malama Hule`ia to get down and dirty in the muddy headwaters of the Hule`ia River of Nawiliwili to eradicate the highly invasive Red Mangrove plant that has severely overtaken the banks of the river and areas of the Nawiliwili Bay watershed.

photo of volunteers

Malama Hule`ia and the Kailoa Canoe Club received grant funding from NOAA and Hawai`i Community Foundation to support the elimination of the aggressive invasive plant. Bringing Kaua`i CC to the cause was the brainchild of Lisa Rapozo, Wai`ale`ale Project’s Head Student Mentor, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society student, and Kaua`i CC Student Employee of the Year as her annual student mentoring project. Over months, she collaborated with Kimo Perry, Wai`al`ale Project Coordinator and Student Support Coordinator Bevin Parker-Evans, and Mason Chock of Kupu A`e and Malama Hule`ia.
photo of Lisa Rapozo
Lisa Rapozo

Kaua`i CC’s Kipaipai First Year Experience Coordinator Rebecca Yund, Kipaipai mentors and first year students, Student Activities Coordinator John Constantino and ASUH-KCC student government leaders, Math faculty member Ming (Coco) Chi joined the Wai`ale`ale Project team for the clean-up.

Rapozo grew up in Niumalu and remembers when she and her cousins played in the river and watershed. Over time, the Red Mangrove has dramatically taken over the area, compromising the water quality and wildlife. Today, waters by Niumalu Park are choked off. The plant’s air roots collect sediment, which creates islands of dirt that fill and cover up the natural wetlands.

The two-day project resulted in a remarkable visible difference. Chain saws buzzed, mangrove trees were cut down to the water line, and volunteers dragged 10-25 feet tall tree branches out of wet estuary lands.

photo of clean-up efforts

The determined community team was rewarded at the end of their long days by a fish fry feast cooked up by Malama Hule`ia Board member Pepe Trask. Menehune Water Company and Starbucks Coffee donated water and coffee.

Of the project, Rapozo said she was “rewarded with a feeling of accomplishment of service.” For all participants, there was deep appreciation for the ‘aina of historic Niumalu.

Rapozo believes that students, who have been given opportunities to advance in college with help from scholarships, should be willing to give back to their community. Kaua`i CC encourages leadership development through mentorship, internship and service-learning civic engagement to do this as part of the college learning experience. Rapozo, one of the original students recruited
four years ago to the Wai`ale`ale Project scholarship program, has been able to continue working full time and raising her family while attending school. She will graduate Fall 2013 with an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and transfer this spring to University of Hawai`i West Oahu to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology via distance learning. 

The Wai`ale`ale Project provides academic support through tutoring, mentoring, summer college-readiness programs and on-going academic support to students who wouldn't normally be able to attend college without community support. Working with community organizations, the scholarship, founded by a single donor, has grown and expanded due to the generous contributions of organizations such as OHA, Kamehameha Schools, and individuals. Students are recruited by organizations within the community who are resource referral partners focused on student success. For more information about Lisa Rapozo and the Kaua`i CC Wai`ale`ale Project, watch the 3-minute video produced by UH Foundation at the following link:


To find out more about the work at Malama Hule`ia or community groups who are looking for community service opportunities should contact Mason Chock at http://malamahuleia.org/

Collaboratively written by Bevin Parker-Evans with Cammie Matsumoto