Punky's Reflections 

I started on March 12, 2021, to begin to put together my thoughts to share with you. That date is a rather auspicious one for Hale Kipa, since it was exactly one year ago on March 12, 2020, that we celebrated the Grand Opening of the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Hale Kipa Youth Services Center on Old Fort Weaver Road. That momentous occasion was the culmination of years of effort by many people and the generosity of many institutions, organizations, and individuals, to make the dream of a home for Hale Kipa a reality. However, the glow from that wonderful event did not last long because the State and the Country shutdown due to COVID almost immediately after the Grand Opening. More

Celebrating Our Dedicated Professionals During National Social Work Month

There has never been a more appropriate time to honor the country’s social workers. Each March, the National Association of Social Workers celebrates this group of dedicated professionals. This year’s theme is “Social Workers are Essential.” 

The U.S. has 700,000 social workers tackling mental health challenges to improve the well-being of individuals, families, groups, and entire communities every day.  

With our country in the grips of a global pandemic and at a time when racial tensions are high, trauma and mental challenges are especially prevalent. Isolation, fear, and economic concerns are pervasive throughout Hawaii and the entire nation. The need for social workers, who are among the frontline workers addressing these problems, has never been greater. More
Staff Feature:
Jordan Veniegas - A Holistic View of Helping People

Jordan Veniegas always loved working with and helping people. His affinity for personal connections led him to begin his college years pursuing a career as a psychologist. A class in cultural anthropology convinced him to take a different personal direction. 
“Those classes opened up my eyes and showed me that, yes, psychology is important, but there are so many other external factors that come into play in a person’s life that psychology might not be able to attend to,” Jordan said. 
Social work’s holistic view to helping people, which includes a focus on external factors such as the environment, turned out to be the perfect fit for Jordan.
Jordan also believes that his experience with adversity as a member of the LGBTQ2IA+ community strengthened his ability to be empathetic and compassionate. 
“It’s such a privilege to be able to take this journey in somebody’s life and walk alongside them,” the Oahu native said. More

Staff Feature:
Regi Ching - Empowering Youth to Make Informed Decisions

As a college undergraduate at Damon College in Amherst, New York, Regi Ching wasn’t sure what type of career she wanted to pursue. 
She was studying humanities when she received an opportunity to work at the Buffalo Area Council on Alcoholism, where she taught alcohol education to teens in inner-city schools. Regi thrived in that role, and with some encouragement from a supervisor, she decided to become a social worker. 
“I enjoyed teaching and educating, and the concept of empowering people to make informed decisions,” Regi said. “I loved it!”
She received her master’s degree in social work from SUNY Buffalo and a few years later, a friend who owned property on Hawaii island asked Regi if she wanted to take care of it for three years. Hesitant at first, after two years of her friend asking, Regi decided to make the change. More

Staff Feature:
Elvina Nartatez - A Person of Change

Elvina Nartatez knows firsthand what it is like to be an at-risk teen on the Big Island. 
Elvina, an assistant program coordinator and foster home developer, grew up in the Puna District and attended Waiakea High School. After becoming embroiled in a relationship with an abusive, older man, she dropped out. Despite a loving family, she was out of control and acting out. 
Elvina landed in the custody of the Department of Human Services where she received services from various community providers. Some of her experiences were positive and some were negative. At times, she felt as though she wasn’t being heard and her personal goals were being dismissed. After only one night in foster care, she reunited with her abusive boyfriend. More

Hale Kipa assists HIDOE to Launch Ho`oikaika Program to Increase Resilience for Students Who Have Experienced Trauma

The Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE), in partnership with Hale Kipa, will soon launch its Ho`oikaika – Cultivating Resilience and Recovery Program (HCRR).  
HCRR will provide and expand mental health services for pre-K through 12th grade students who have experienced toxic trauma and stress that interferes with their school success. Part of Hale Kipa’s role includes professional development training to key HIDOE employees and staff on school campuses, to develop a Provider Guide for mental health services and provide direct mental health services.
Ho`oikaika – a trauma informed approach, endeavors to increase resilience for this at-risk student population. The program is possible through a $4.4 million, five-year U.S. Department of Education grant awarded to the state. Hawaii is one of five states to receive the grant, including Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, and Nevada. 
In the first year, HCRR will focus on four pilot schools: Waimanalo Elementary School and Kailua High School on Oahu, and Na’alehu and Pahala elementary schools and Kau High School on Hawai`i Island. In 2022, it will expand to other Title 1 schools statewide. Other providers are  also expected to be added to the program for upcoming years. More

Hale Kipa Welcomes Back Tracy Janowicz as
Chief Administrative Officer


Hale Kipa is pleased to welcome back Tracy Janowicz as its Chief Administrative Officer. Janowicz served as Hale Kipa’s Director of Quality Improvement & Facilities from 2001-2014.

“Hale Kipa is a great organization with a crucial mission,” Janowicz said. “I am proud to contribute to a nonprofit with such a positive combination of amazing work and a very talented board and staff to undertake that effort.”

Janowicz has been an integral part of the Hale Kipa capital campaign project from groundbreaking through the grand opening of its new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Youth Services Center in Ewa Beach last year.

She has worked with Hawaii nonprofit organizations, small businesses and communities for more than 30 years and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and public administration from Hawaii Pacific College. Born and raised in Michigan, she moved to Hawaii in 1980.

Make an Impact by Ordering Panda on April 30th! 

Order Online for pickup or delivery on April 30th and 28% of sales will be donated to Hale Kipa.

Apply code 903195 in the Coupon Code box during online checkout at or via the App.

Gift of Love

Mahalo nui to Associa Hawaii for its generous donation to Hale Kipa of six turkey dinners through its annual Christmas Giving Program. Hale Kipa staff distributed the complete meals – including sides and desserts – to its residential programs on Dec. 22.

For more than 10 years, HK has been the recipient of holiday meals through Associa’s Christmas Giving program, part of its Gift of Love initiative. Associa Vice President Richard Emery founded the Gift of Love program when he was president of Hawaii First. Associa maintained the tradition when the two companies merged in early 2015.

“Associa is proud to continue the tradition of the Gift of Love event,” Wong said. “These are families in need and we hope that the small token of a turkey dinner will allow them to have a good meal for the holidays.”

In addition to the meals, Associa’s Christmas Giving program provides gift cards to families in need so they may buy gifts for their keiki. In 2019, Associa donated six turkey dinners to Hale Kipa.

Pictured in the photo are (left to right) Jasmine Souza (HK staff), Michelle Kidani (Associa Hawaii), A Catering Experience crew.

Mahalo to Our Generous Donors

Mahalo to our generous donors, who have made helping Hawaii’s youth and young adults a priority, regardless of where they reside.  As a nonprofit organization, we rely on your generosity. Your gift helps us provide vital services to hundreds of youth and families each year. Gifts from the following donors were made from November 2020 through February 2021.  Also included, are pledges made through Aloha United Way:

Monetary gifts:   Adriane Aarona • Aileen Hiramatsu • Alexander & Baldwin • Alexander Campbell • Alexander Schumacker • Amazon Smiles • Anne Hyde • Bank of Hawaii • Beata Saito • Big Island Delights • Bil and Anne Aulenbach • Bill Teter • Brenda and Fred Landes • Bretzlaff Foundation Hawaii Justice Foundation • Bryce Gardner • Burt and Carolyn Chinen • Business Solution Technologies • Calvin Mann •Camila Albert • Charles Howland • Charles Leland • Church of the Epiphany • Cindy Hernandez • City Mill Co. / Chung Kun Ai Foundation • Clinton and Suzanne Churchill • Community Church of Honolulu • Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation • County of Hawaii • Craig Slayter • Dana Dorsch • Darryl and Patricia Lee • David and Laurie Carr • David and Sharon Fairbanks • Dawn Hirayama • Dennis and Jill Kondo • Dori and ReaganTyau • Elena Fragas • Elspeth Kerr • Epic ʻOhana • Erika Mazur • Erin Wright • Eve Anderson • Foodland Super Market • Gail Renard • Gerry and Philip Ching • Gregory Sitar • Guy Kishaba • Gwen and Lance Okamoto • Gwenette Higa • Harm Reduction Hawaii • HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union Foundation • Hedgerg, Batara & Vaughan-Sarandi • Helen Chang • Iris Ha • Jacobs • James Cribley • James Michel • Jaque Kelley-Uyeoka • Jason Louie • Jean Odo • Jeannie Hedberg • Jeffrey Ventura • Jim and Marilyn Pappas • JoAnn Nakamura • Joey Miyamoto • John and Charmaine Aeto • John Mackey • Jon Uyehara • Joseph and Anderson O'Mealy • Joshua Ho • Judith Goldman • Kai Hawaii, Inc. • Katie Bennett • Kauai United Way • Kellie Hines • Kelly Churchill • Kenneth and Diane Matsuura • Kristen Vierra • Kuan Yuan • Lanson Kupau • Laura Brucia Hamm • Lehua Rabang • Leslie Kawamoto • Lisa Nakamura • Lori Adolewski • Lori Apuna • Lori Fukumae • Luke Yeh • Lynne and Glenn Ebisui • Madeleine Mazzola • Margaret Murchison • Marianne Kimura • Marie Kunimura • Marisa Kent • Marisla Fund of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation • Mary Anne and Jim Bell • Maureen Ballard • Maxine and Jeffrey Haun • Melen MacNeil and Patrick McFadden • Michael Akana • Michael Magaoay • Michael Roberts • Microsoft • Mike Betz • Mike Kido • Movie Museum • Nathan Niitani • NFL Foundation • Nicholas Beredimus • Open Society Institute • Oshima Company • Outsource Marketing • Pacific Telecommunications Council • Pat Schnack • Patricia Sullivan • Patrick Ching • Paul And Deobrah Schraff • Paul and Tanya Alston • Paul Lindo • Paula Daigcon • Peter and Luianna McKenney • Punky and Cris Pletan-Cross • Queen's Health Systems • Randolph Moore • Randolph Sakauye • Randy Faatau • Requel and Russell Hicks • Richard and Bobbie Ubersax • Robert Bidwell • Robert Sotelo • Robert Tsushima • Robert Whittier • Robin Uyeshiro and Donna Leong • Ruey Jane Ryburn • RYSE • Sandra Linskey • Sandra Toorinjian • Savan Patel • Scot Nakamura • Scott Seu and Carrie Okinaga • Shidler Family Foundation • Sisters of the Sacred Hearts Infirmary • Susan Stahley • Stephen and Paulette Franklin • Sterling Yee • Steve and Beata Saito • Susan Buczala • Susan Wright • Swinerton • Tennille Lwee • Thalia Yanazaki • Thao and Souvanna Khamoui • The Marvin and Rae Alice Hall Fund • The Michael J. Marks Foundation • Thomas Carson • Thomas Witten • TNSP, Inc. • Dennis and Trini Echiverri • United Methodist Women - First United Methodist Church • UnitedHealthcare • University Health Alliance • USAA • Vanessa Soriano • Vickie Farmer • Victoria Roland • Virginia and Bill Hinshaw • Waikiki Beach Gathering • Wayne and Lynn Hamada • Wendi Kamiya • Wendie McAllaster • Wendy Wichman • Whole Foods Market • William Bekemeier • William Carreira • Anonymous
In-kind gifts:  
Arma Oana and Kainani • Big Island Delight • Corinne Agbunag • Hayden Takemoto • Joy Bounds • Karen Watase • Larry Alfrey • Lee Lacerdo • Liane Blake • Robert Brennan • Ruth Rittmeister • Shannon Miwa • Steve Brinkley • Theresa Haas • Wendi Kamiya • Willie Greer • Anonymous

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Hale Kipa, Inc. is a multi-service, fully accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that specializes in working with at-risk youth and their families. You are receiving this newsletter because you are an important member of the Hale Kipa ohana. We appreciate your continued support.

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Hale Kipa Inc. · 91-2128 Old Fort Weaver Road · Ewa Beach, HI 96706 · USA

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