HAWAII – HUD-approved housing counseling agency and Native community development financial institution Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), in partnership with First Nations Development Institute and Hawaii County, unveiled the Investing in Our Next Generation: Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program Report on Tuesday April 16, 2013.
The report includes data collected on HCA's Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program during pilot projects conducted from 2009 to 2011 and a statewide demonstration project in 2012 funded by First Nations Development Institute and Hawaii County. Highlighting the impacts of the program's place-based and age-appropriate service delivery model, the report identifies outcomes from youth financial education workshops on employment, budgeting, banking, credit, and college and career planning, as well as from complementary train-the-trainer sessions and integrated asset-building programs.
"It [the Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program] is an investment that is pivotal in building self-sufficiency of our people and is rooted in educating our children with the appropriate tools and in the appropriate way," shared HCA co-founder and acting Board President Kehaulani Filimoeatu, who co-authored the Kahua Waiwai, Homebuyer Edition(c). "We mahalo our young people for their hard work. Our Opio curriculum and program could have only come from them, in the way they see and experience the world."
Youth, family and community engagement has been the driving force behind the program's success. While community members participated in focus groups and served as volunteer Kahua Waiwai trainers, more than 100 Hawaii youth helped draft, edit, design and illustrate the program's place-based curriculum, Kahua Waiwai: Building a Foundation of Wealth, Opio Edition(c).
According to the Report, HCA and 138 trained Kahua Waiwai trainers across the state achieved the following outcomes in serving Hawaii youth, 13 and older, through the program:
• 930 youth were served with free Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education in their own communities
• 233 youth participants reported an increase their career readiness by developing resumes and/or participating in job/career training
• 181 youth participants reported an increase in positive financial habits by identifying savings goals and actively saving while enrolled in the program
• 121 youth participants accessed asset building programs
"First Nations is proud to support such a successful program and we are pleased with the outcomes of the report," said Sarah Dewees, Senior Director of Research, Policy and Asset-Building Programs at First Nations Development Institute. "Youth financial education programs are especially effective as they instill good financial behavior that can last a lifetime."
In support of the report's release, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi issued a Proclamation recognizing April as Financial Literacy Month and calling on county residents to observe the month with education programs and events to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices.
For more information about HCA's Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program, call toll free 1-866-400-1116.