I. Our Challenge
The West Hawaiʻi Complex Area has an ongoing need to align the work of programs, organizations, and the community for better outcomes among youth and young adults (ages 11 to 25).
Of the students who finish high school, too few students are pursuing post-secondary education. National research shows this puts them at greater risk for young adult poverty, unhealthy lifestyles, lower lifetime earning potential, and increased reliance on social services.
Research of youth and young adults indicates the ages of 11-25 are critical to healthy development and transition into adulthood. More work is needed to support this vulnerable population before they become disengaged in high school or isolated in young adulthood.
II. Opportunities for West Hawai‘i
Community System Infrastructure
Organizations and programs would benefit from a collective impact project that links students and providers together to create continuum of support. A community network could inform youth and families of opportunities, leverage existing assets, and support a connected community culture.
Data Management and Messaging
West Hawaiʻi needs a comprehensive data report as a baseline and a way to facilitate ongoing collection. A data partnership between agencies would help inform our decisions and actions. In addition, a data messaging campaign could share results in ways that inform and motivate stakeholders.
The greatest resource for our future is the collective wisdom and aloha of our own community. Community discussions can gather new insights and help define priorities. By coming together and strengthening our relationships between families and agencies, we can design the solutions we are looking for.
III. What Is Collective Impact?
Collective impact is a process that occurs when cross-sector community partners come together in an accountable way to implement the following four principles (strivetogether.org)
Improving outcomes for youth will require the community and West Hawaiʻi Department of Education to collaborate in creative, meaningful ways. Our commitment is to learn and evolve together as collective impact partners; building strong relationships along the way.
IV. Project Goals
Strategies to improve youth outcomes fall into three focus areas:
HEALTH, EDUCATION, and CONNECTION
With input from community stakeholders, Hōkūpaʻa will 1) help to identify local priority items within each of the focus areas, 2) facilitate action plans for improvement, 3) work to create a community network and data partnership, and 4) involve youth in discussions and decision-making.
V. Project Objectives, Year 1
- Develop Hōkūpaʻa Youth Leadership Council
- Host Youth Support Forum, April 28, 2015; Youth Support Summit in Fall 2015
- Create Regional and Learner Lifetime Maps of youth and young adult services
- Develop Data Alignment, Action Network, and Community Investment Commissions
- Create Hōkūpaʻa Website – an online community and messaging campaign
VI. What Is Hōkūpaʻa?
Hōkūpaʻa is a collaboration entity created through the collective efforts of West Hawaiʻi leaders from University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (parent agency), Hawaiʻi Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiʻi Community College, Hawaiʻi County Council, County of Hawaiʻi, Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center, and partnerships with The Learning Coalition and Office of Youth Services.