Dear Dreamers and Dream Makers,
On a remarkable bright Monday in Honolulu, a brilliant group of courageous, inspired leaders from across academic, government, military and business sectors assembled as a ‘HUI’ with one SHARED PURPOSE – to provide a transformational life-changing program to ‘at-risk’ middle school age ‘Keiki’ (youth) from economically disadvantaged communities in Hawaii to provide OPPORTUNITY through INCLUSION, EQUALITY, and ACCESS, to pursue and live the AMERICAN DREAM!
The luncheon brimmed with love, passion and determination to kickoff the 2022 University of Hawaii Youth Impact Programs, the fifth year of the YIP for Boys under the leadership of Rainbow Warriors Football Head Coach Timmy Chang AND the first-ever Youth Impact Program for Girls led by Rainbow Wahine Basketball Head Coach Laura Beeman, the latter in conjunction with the historic 50th anniversary of Title IX!
University of Hawai’i women’s basketball head coach Laura Beeman will lead the YIP girls’ program
The passion of this HUI to come together and join ranks with the shared purpose combines the values and discipline of U.S. Army and Marines with the team-building aspects of athletics led by the University’s NCAA student-athletes. Participants learn valuable life skills that foster Character Development and Academic Enhancement.
“I am excited to launch this groundbreaking Hawaii Youth Impact Program for young female athletes,” said Head Coach Laura Beeman. “I am inspired by the outpouring of support for YIP that brings together student athletes, the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines, educators, businesses and restaurants to make a difference and impact the lives of our youth in our community.”
The program is free to participants and provides STEM based academics, school supplies, uniforms, two meals per day, transportation to and from the university, equipment, and exposure to the University of Hawaii. To make this happen, it took the full commitment and support of the HUI resulting in a degree of support unmatched in YIP’s 17-year history. The extraordinary force of goodness and togetherness for the betterment of the Keiki.
University of Hawai’i Head Football Coach Timmy Chang will spearhead the YIP boys’ program
“I am honored to be part of this amazing program for at-risk youth that makes classroom learning relevant by using football and sports terminology,” said Head Coach Timmy Chang. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of these young athletes to be inspired by NCAA athletes, real men and women who serve in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines, and local business leaders and we are excited to host and welcome them all to our UH campus and field.”
We share why we do what we do, who the champions we associate with to do what we do and to Launch new creations of big dreams to be lived. We are grateful for our Champions that led to gather our community leadership to join our HUI.
We celebrate our Champions starting with YIP Board Member Sharon Brown who has remarkably brought forward our biggest donor of First Hawaiian Bank, The President, the Chairman, and the CEO Mr. Bob Harrison joined us with his Executive Vice President Cameron Nakota joined us a collaborator.
Hosting all of us and being the rock foundation of every one of our programs here in Hawaii is the recent named Hall of Fame chef of the Culinary Institute of America, Roy Yamaguchi. Roy is a man of greatness of what he does and that is build teams and execute teams in excellence to be the best in his field in the world. He is an immigrant that came from nothing and with American Grit made his Dreams happen, lived his Dream and Gives his Dream. Roy has led the local Hawaiian chef and Restaurant contribution to our YIP to create, cook and deliver over 4,000 meals and provide them to the program for free. Roberts Hawaii and many champions from Honolulu have joined us to fully fund our two concurrent Hawaii Youth Impact Programs.
YIP Founder Riki Ellison speaking on the launch of the first-ever YIP girls’ program
We have full support from the Mayor of Honolulu Rick Balgiardi, an extraordinary leader and extra special champion for our Hawaii Youth Impact. We have a true believer and contributor from the conception of this great program Hawaii State Senate President Ron Kouchi, instrumental in representing the State Government in our strong friendship.
The leadership and partnership with the University of Hawaii its President Dave Lassner and Athletic Director Dave Matlin. Both leaders have gone extra to make UH available and in full support of their coaches, their student-athletes, and their facilities made available for this cause, this impact, and this access to these young children of our community in Honolulu.
We have support from instrumental YIP board member former Senior Enlisted Leader for Indo-PACOM Anthony Spadaro who is been side by side with our relationship building of champions here in Hawaii and across our mainland to provide critical members of our YIP teams.
To best execute with excellence our two programs we introduce our critical core leadership – The new Head Football Coach – Timmy Chang, the legacy Woman’s Basketball Coach Laura Beeman from the University of Hawaii Athletics. From US Army Pacific, we have Brigadier General Mark Holler, CSM Neil Sartain of the 94th AAMDC and Marine Sgt Maj Anthony Lopez of CLB 3 who provides passion, belief, and commitment.
The candor, the truth to power was enlightening and foundational. Each of them will be contributing a vast amount of young, accomplished leaders, champions, and winners to bring the absolute best out of this team in perseverance, trust, and excellence.
YIP Youth Participant, Daven Mellem-Sale, 7th grader from Nanakuli