About 30 intermediate and high school youths and their families joined Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services gathering on May 27 to welcome summer break and register for the program that guides youths away from harmful and detrimental behaviors.
Youth Services runs suicide, bullying, substance abuse and tobacco prevention programs for intermediate and high school youths on Maui and Moloka‘i. Programs are offered in-school, after-school and during extended school breaks and include community service, leadership, cultural and career-oriented activities with the goal of increasing protective factors for youths and strengthening families.
Activities planned for the summer program, which runs from June 6 to July 27, include reading and donating books to preschoolers, organizing Bingo at Roselani Place, an assisted living facility in Kahului, and maintaining the Youth Services Adopt A Highway section along Maui Veterans Highway near Zippy’s. A second annual beach clean-up event is planned from 9 a.m. to noon June 28 at Kanaha Beach Park with partners Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui and Maui Family Support Services.
At the May 27 gathering, families enjoyed a meal and were provided application forms and an orientation for the next program year, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2023. MEO Community Services Director Cassi Yamashita made a presentation on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal program that provides qualifying low-income households a one-time credit to offset energy costs. Signup for the LIHEAP Energy Credit program runs through the month of June.
Each youth received a duffle bag, which was donated by Executive Director Paul Tonnesen and Friends of the Children’s Justice Center. Each bag contained toiletry items. There also was a raffle for small prizes and other activities that evening in the MEO Classrooms.
The Youth Services’ prevention program is at capacity but to get on a wait list or for more information about the program, call (808) 243-4315 or email dane.ka‘[email protected].
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*About Maui Economic Opportunity*
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., is a nonprofit agency that’s part of the national Community Action Partnership network, whose goal is to help low income individuals and families and disenfranchised people help themselves and transform their lives. Chartered in 1965, MEO offers more than 40 programs that assist low income people, kupuna, youths, persons with disabilities, immigrants and other disenfranchised individuals countywide. MEO runs the Human Services specialized transportation program for health and dialysis appointments, after-school and youth sports activities and more; and the Maui Bus paratransit system; Head Start preschools and Kahi Kamali‘i Infant Care Center; as well as programs that offer kupuna socialization and information; rent, mortgage and utility assistance; Spanish interpretation and translation; entrepreneurial and financial classes and support, including microloans; inmate reintegration into the community after release; youth drinking, drug, smoking, bullying and suicide prevention; and employment training and placement. For more information about the entire array of programs, visit meoinc.org or call (808) 249-2990.