Hale Kipa Hawai’i Advocate Program expanding, hiring viaHonoluluAdvertiser
In a down time for many non-profits, Kaua’i’s Hale Kipa is celebrating an expansion in services for one of its programs. The Hawai’i Advocate Program, which normally serves about 15 youth, will double in size this year and the agency wants to hire five more advocates.
“We have an opportunity to really serve the needs of our at-risk youth population on Kaua’i,” says Melinda Montgomery, program coordinator for Kaua’i.
Already there is a waiting list for the program, which get referrals from the foster care, child welfare and and family court systems.
The program pair adult advocates with youth participants one-on-one. The mentors help the youth in a variety of ways, Montgomery says, generally after school, including supervising homework and tutoring, taking the youth to afterschool, art, sports or other constructive activities and introducing them to appropriate peers.
Some of the positive activities include football, canoe paddling, ukulele lessons, karate and hula.
The advocates also help their charges address behavioral problems including respect for others, getting to school and whatever is an issue for the youth, Montgomery says. There’s emphasis on keeping a family together or reuniting the separated family.
Montgomery has a steady stable of 11 adult advocates, many of whom have been with the program since its inception in 2005. She’ll be hiring five more to help cover the expanding number of youths.
Hawai’i Advocate Program applicants must be 18 or older, have a high school diploma, pass a background check, be committed to helping youth and their families, and “have an ability to be creative,” Montgomery says. Training for the job is provided.
To reach Montgomery about placements for youth or job opportunities for advocates, call 246-4898.
By: Diana Leone