PLTI Community Projects

The Hawaiʻi Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) is open to anyone who cares about the well-being of children. Over the course of 20 free weekly sessions, participants learn to be effective advocates for children and change agents for their communities.

Each participant also completes a community project. Previous community projects are listed on this page. Click here to download a PDF.

Interested in PLTI? Click here to learn more.

Cohort 1 - Oʻahu

The Dad App

App for mobile device that would remind parent (mostly Dads not living with child) about child’s appointments, afterschool activities, classes, etc.

Wrapping Christmas Presents

Cub Scout Pack wraps Christmas Presents at no cost.  A how-to guide on how to do this community service.

Perthes (Overcoming Obstacles)

Overcoming a rare disease and being resilient, the importance of having a positive attitude.

Homework Hui

After school homework program at Kailua Elementary School.

Earth to Hearth

Promoting a home garden in a public housing.

Support for FETCH

Developing a website for FETCH to reach more families.

Childhood Obesity

Promoting fresh foods and more physical activity in Waimanalo to prevent childhood obesity.

Pay It Forward 5Rs Project, Grants for Castle High Project Grad Participant

Grants available to CHS graduates who complete a 5Rs project, developing the process to award the grants.

Youth Leaders

Program in schools that would teach advocacy skills for youth issues.


A cookbook using ingredients available to WIC recipients, especially for families from the Marshall Islands.  A grant was secured from the Public Health Association to print the cookbook.

Support Group for Parents with ADHD Children

Provides opportunity for families to get together and learn from each other, sharing success.

Talk Story Listen

Teaching at risk youth, especially those in foster care, to record stories of more mature adults who overcame obstacles to build a successful life.

Hope in the Mourning

Support, understanding and resources when a youth, who is in foster care, dies or is reunified.

Being Sassy

Program for girls developing leadership skills, self-confidence, building in protective factors, to keep them out of sex-trafficking.

Afterschool Chess Club

Chess Club at Dole Intermediate during recess and lunch with hopes of entering competition.

Me First, How Parents Can Support Academic Success

Program at Dole Intermediate School for Micronesian parents, to improve student achievement.  Parents attend 15 weeks of sessions.  Sessions include topics such as the importance of being on time, understanding the report card, providing a place to do homework, how to approach school officials, being an active parent in their child’s education.              

Together We Can, DHS and Foster Parents Work Together

Training staff of both groups to improve the communication and work together. 

Play Group for Special Needs Families

Facilitating a play group for special needs children and showing parents that play is a way that children are learning.


Cohort 2 - Oʻahu

Leadership Program

Kalaekea Akioka

A leadership program for children that will unfold at the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture.

Communicative Language Teaching

Tony Dukie Akioka

Program using using the Hawaiian language and surfing at Lā ‘Ohana ma Kahakai.

Angel’s Traveling Tea Party

LisaMarie Guerrero

Partnering with her daughter to take the Angel’s Traveling Tea Party to less fortunate girls living on the beach so that they can “look good on the outside in hopes they will feel better in the inside.”

Slippers for Aloha

Jackie Jackson

Bringing churches together on the Windward side to raise awareness that anyone can help those in need.

“Most Likely to Succeed”

Moses Moke Kaapana

A community showing of the film “Most Likely to Succeed” to raise questions and action toward improving our educational system in order to serve our children better.

Ka Hale O Papa: Stacking Stones for the Future Wahine Leaders of Hawaiʻi

Tiare Kaolelopono

An indigenous based leadership program for mothers and daughters.

Special Communication for Special Children

Katherina Kirby

Assist families and educators to better understand each other and the special education system.

Community Haircuts

Wanda Mahelona

With a heart for children in need, this project is taking action in the community by providing haircuts for them before school starts.

Pule ‘Ohana no Hokule’a a me Hikianalia

Mālia Melemai

The inaugural prayer vigil, Pule ‘Ohana no Hokule’a a me Hikianalia: A Call to Churches in the Moku of Ko’olau for the Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia.

Girls Learning & Achieving More (GLAM)

Teri Lynn Sato

A series of workshops that develops relationships between mothers and daughters at Kulana Nani housing.


Cohort 3 - Oʻahu

Kako’o Cards

Dana Ciacci

Kako’o means to support, uphold, assist in Hawaiian. This project is developing a resource that supports children and their families when dealing

with grief or loss.

Bridging the Parent/Teacher Divide Through Any Means Necessary

Wanatoshia Everage

Bringing awareness to military families of resources available for transitioning families to ensure academic success and to provide a forum for parents and teachers to help students through this process. 

A Story of Our Own

Amber Leon-Guerrero

Establishes an art program for the youth of Kahauiki Village, a transitional shelter, to encourage leadership and community development, developing their voices to share their stories of challenges being turned into victories through a mural project.

Aloha Bags, Leaving a Little Love for Those in Need

Traci Khan

Provide those in need with helpful items, a list of resources and to create a cycle of love/giving to help break down the barriers between those in need and those not in need, to model giving to our children instead of thoughtless complacency.

Do You Want to Go Viral? How to be Safe on Social Media

Nohea Walker

Develop a tool, curriculum/brochure/pamphlet to help parents communicate with their children about social media and safety on the internet.

Inspiring Voter Turnout in 96744, Our Kaneohe

Georgi DeCosta

Our children and families are depending on responsible and capable leaders yet Hawaii had the lowest voter turnout, 34.8% of those registered. Increasing voter engagement through voter registration drives, Absentee Ballot registration, and candidate forums in the 96744 zip code area.

The Gomes Mini Park Revitalization and Clean Up

Linda Alicea

Taking care of our neighborhood with the revitalization and beautification of our park. Creating a better sense of ownership in the community will foster unity and stronger relationships between our families, our government officials and workers, and other individuals that use our community park.

Community Haircuts

Wanda Mahelona

With a heart for children in need, this project is taking action in the community by providing haircuts for them before school starts.

Collaborative Cocktail:  Mixing the Me with the We

Kaleo Puana

Impacting social emotional wellbeing of all learners through the use of multicultural practices and traditions. Equipping leaders to share history, cultural practices and locations to integrate personal culture into learning.


Cohort 4 — Oʻahu

Making the Grade: Understanding Elementary School Grading Reports

Creating a guide to help parents better understand and how to use their children’s grading reports.

Ohana Collective Model: Strengthening Families Together.

Creating an ‘aloha’ centered client model for family and individual wellness. Increasing parent involvement within the family and community. Educating parents and family members on parenting skills and community.

Growing Youth Leadership from the Grassroots

Creating a pilot program for high school students to participate in government. Focused on the McCully-Mo’ili’ili neighborhood board.

Survivors Speak

An art exhibition featuring work made by survivors of domestic violence.

Honolulu Tenants Union

Organizing and uniting renters to know their rights. Connecting them with legal help when needed. Pushing for legislation the protects and empowers tenants.

Greener Bingo Night

Make the annual Manoa School parent teacher bingo night a “green” bingo night. Providing time and space for students to speak about their passion for the earth. Sharing the work they are doing on minimizing waste and to create an asset-compost. Encouraging families to make consumption choices intentional ones. Encouraging the use of compostable wares at future school events.

Resource portal for parents

Social club for young ladies with intellectual disabilities


Cohort 4 — Maui

End Human Sex Trafficking

Building a coalition of community members to educate the community about sex trafficking and how to keep children safe.

Graceful Puʻuwai

Developing a support group for pregnant women who were abused as children.

Maui Science Fair

Science fairs for children to focus on STEM.

Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands — Get on the land faster and cheaper

Working with the community to help get Hawaiians homes faster and more   


Girls on the Run

A program that teaches self-esteem to girls through running.

Journal For Expecting Mothers

A journal helping expecting mothers through their pregnancy and delivery.

Na Kia'i'o Iao

Starting a community association for the protection of Iao Valley.

Bringing Mindfulness Back

Bringing mindfulness back into our communities starting with children and families. Groups for parents and children to teach meditation, mindfulness and yoga.

Local Food Documentary

A documentary focusing on families eating only locally grown foods.

PLTI-V Cohort A

PS, We Got This

A virtual parent support group for families who wish to have support from other parents when dealing with their children’s challenging behaviors. 

A Sustainable Maʻi

A project addressing period poverty. A school program to educate and provide youth with sustainable products to manage their period in a financially, environmentally and healthy way.

The Laundry Room Project, Wahiawa Elementary School

Getting a laundry room at the elementary school for homeless youth.

Mother's Helping Mothers

Working to get permanent housing for unsheltered moms and grandmothers.

A Safe Path for Keiki

Working with local representatives to create a safe sidewalk for the keiki and adults in the neighborhood.

Being Intentional with Digital Media

A project to teach parents how to be more intentional with digital media by holding a virtual workshop for families that help them become more involved in how they use their smart devices or technology with them.

Legendary Abilities Fit-A-Thon Fundraiser

Raising funds for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Helping Every Lahui Link to Opportunities

Helping families to find local resources and support in Hawaii with Individualized Education Plans and Special Education students.

Preschool Beautification Project

Building a protective fence that will also be an interactive, functioning, educational environment for children.


PLTI-V Cohort B

From My Heart to Your Heart

A Toolkit for new mothers and their infants who are separated at birth due to Substance Abuse Disorder or Domestic Violence, or Mental Health Disorders.

A Toolkit for Surviving Grief and Loss

Helping those left behind to heal from the loss of a loved one.


Helping to educate parents about youth suicide prevention.

The Hands of C.A.R.E. – Child Abuse Respite Environment

Mobile parent-child visitation center with staff who are trained in trauma-informed care.

Start Where You Are (SWAY) Circle

A support group for women focusing on self-care.

Navigation Toolkit for Parent Engagement in Kaneohe Public Schools

Encouraging parents to choose public schools to increase diversity and overall quality.

Parent's First

Would like to help stop the cycle of poverty by putting parents first.  

What is Child Sex Trafficking in Hawaii?

A project that provides presentations to schools, parents and community on risk factors, identifying signs of trafficking and how to report.

Do Nature Your Kids?

Connecting children back to nature by leading group hikes.

The Great Wahine Run

A program that bridges the need-gap for women and progressives’ agendas to campaign for elected office.

Keiki’s A La (Path)

Providing resource information to families for childcare subsidies.

Adaptive Water Sports 101

A website to train on adaptive surfing, adaptive kayaking and adaptive swimming, and how to support those with disabilities to have access to the ocean.

2021-2022 Cohort 

Guardian Ad Lidem, Essential To Sexual Assault Cases Involving Children

Annette Brautigam-Suʻapaia

A project that makes proper protections and a Guardian Ad Lidem mandatory in all child abuse cases

The Hangout: A safe space for LGBTQ+ Youth

Rachael Greedy

A safe place for young LGBTQ+ to relax and be themselves.


Ashley Hubbard

Education and awareness, Resource utilization and continuation of advocacy efforts towards obtaining air conditioning for all classrooms in Hawaiʻi.

Mālama Nā Keiki NICU

Leilani Kailiawa

(Mālama ʻOhana Support Services) A parent emotional support line for families of newborn babies that have been discharged from Kapiʻolani Medical Center NICU.

We Fight!

Reynell Kawaihae

Women | Empowerment | Females | Inspiring | Godly | Habits | and Testimonies. Build Confidence in Teen Girls. Through spiritual, mental, and physical awareness, confidence, boundaries, and self-defense.

Project Surf Hawaiʻi

Moani Silva

A Project giving free surfboards to children in Hawaiʻi, with preference to native Hawaiian children.

If You Can See Her, You Can Be Her

Raquel Aki

An after-school support group for teen girls

Keiki Shopping Spree

Lani Bowman

Children are given money to spend at a thrift store to buy items for their parents for a special occasion.

Be Instrumental

Jennifer Farkas

Encouraging the benefits of music education by providing donated instruments to play and support to pay for music lessons

Nā ʻOhana Ulu Pono

Brooksie Kenolio

A support group for birth parents in the Child Welfare System

Restore Hanamulu

Joanna McCormack Jardine

A group to help restore Hanamaulu Beach park, and make it family-friendly

Keahumoa Place Tax Prep Workshop

Cristine Natividad

A free workshop to help parents and teach them how to prepare their taxes

Sun Rise at Sunset Memorial Park

Patti Rabacal

A group to help take care of the cemetery

Maikaʻi Park

Kitri Rowland

A support play group for parents that encourages families to go outdoors

Olakino Nohona

Wendy Taylor

Guide keiki by teaching health and wellness practices

2022-2023 Cohorts 

Spectrum of Support (SOS) Church Engagement Project

Airess Serna

A support group for parents of children with Autism diagnosis.

Keiki Food Connection

Gwen Whiting

Partnering with WIC to grow food at home.

Hey Aunty

Joell Edwards

An app where youth can reach out for help and get 1-1 support.

Head Start, Policy Council Member

Miliani Kuhaulua

Being on the policy council for the Head Start program

IEP Meeting, Here I Come!

Reinalyn Terrado

A picture book for IEP process & translation in Tagalog

IEP Kokua

Shauna Kamaka

Having mediators for the IEP process between the family and the school

The Risk to Keiki is Real-Naloxone on School Campus Can Save a Life

Andi Pawasarat-Losalio

Getting Nar-Can in Charter Schools on Hawaii Island

The Museum of Papahanaumoku & Mahina

Christen Zulli

An Art, Play, Healing Center for Women and Families "Play Cafes"

Word Around Town

Elysia Hendricks

A list of free, shared book stands on Maui

It's Cool to Be Kind

Kristina Kaimiola

An Anti-Bullying coloring book

Reiki for Keiki

Leilani Aquino

A group teaching Reiki to parents in relation to their interactions with their children

The Hanuola Project

Mapuana (Ronda) Hayashi-Simpliciano

Addressing indoor air quality in Schools

STEAM on the Spectrum

Noelle Zimdahl

A support group teaching STEM activities for children with Autism

Milk Sweeties LLC – Parent Education Support Services

Denise Carvalho

Developing Parent Education Support Services - Parent Education and Resource website.

‘Ohana Garden and Grindz Ongoing (OGGO)

Daniella Vingelen

Keeping families engaged after going through the free 4 week ‘Ohana Garden ‘n Grindz (OGG) program. OGG is a University of Hawaii extension program that started on Molokai and addresses community resilience through virtual family-based agriculture education. Families are taught gardening and kitchen skills with an emergency preparedness mindset.

Keiki Whispers

Holly Irimata

Providing children and youth in Hawaiʻi with an outlet to express personal secrets, burdens, and/or frustrations through artwork and writing that they may send through the program or school, allowing the child or youth to feel the emotional release.

Let Me Introduce You to Nutrislice

Malia Jarvie

Collaboration with Pukalani Elementary school to create a video and brochure promoting the Nutrislice app and website with the goal of informing parents about school meal nutrition.

Family Advocacy Google Site and Blog

Regina Corniel

Bringsing resources and events to Hawaii ‘s community with a focus on Maui’s children with special needs and learning disabilities.

Renters Talk Story

Jordan Hocker

Talk Story sessions informing renters about their rights 

We Rise Up to Awareness

Ronnette Gonsalves

 Addressing Hygiene poverty by collaborating with DOE with hygiene needs. 


Hawaiʻi’s keiki need superheroes like you to spread the word! Join us on: