The Windward Youth Leadership Fund is a way for youth to apply for and earn up to $5,000 for their club or group activities by doing something positive for Windward O‘ahu. You can apply if you are 18 or younger, your club or group is based in Windward O‘ahu, and you have at least three members. You also need a public school or nonprofit organization to sponsor your application.
In addition to engaging youth in community service, one of the primary goals of this small grants program is to help youth build their leadership skills. Although parents, coaches and teachers may provide guidance, the projects must be youth-driven. Applications that do not clearly demonstrate participation of youth in the project planning and writing of the proposal will most likely be denied.
What's the Big Idea?
Tired of the same old fundraisers? Had enough of Portuguese sausage tickets, car washes, donuts, and fishing for money at intersections? The Windward Youth Leadership Fund (WYLF) is an alternative way to raise funds for your activities while helping to strengthen our community.
Youth groups need money for things & uniforms, equipment, trips to the mainland, food for a big event, and more. Rather than thinking about what you can sell, the WYLF challenges you to think about what you can give. The youth in the group come up with a plan to make our Windward communities healthier and the Foundation will give up to $5,000 to make it happen and to help organizations or clubs earn needed funds.
By doing a project, you do something good for the community, you show how youth make a difference, and you get the money you need for your activities.
Need ideas? Project ideas are wide open, bound only by your imagination!
Grantee Organization: O‘ahu Church of Christ Youth Group
Youth Leader: Kelsey Wemple
Adult Contact: Gretchen Wemple
Grantee Organization: Hui Mālama O Ke Kai
Youth Leader: Kirk Deitschman
Adult Contact: Lani Eckert
Grantee Organization: Manuia Soccer Club
Youth Leader: Lyndsey Tagawa
Adult Contact: Annette Tagawa
How Do We Apply?
Would you like to plug into ongoing service events throughout the year with the organizations listed below? Please talk with them before you apply online.
HUI O KO‘OLAUPOKO
If you want to learn about watershed science, you can work with Hui O Ko‘olaupoko, a nonprofit organization with expertise in this area. Call Todd Cullison (email@example.com) or Kristen Nalani Mailheau (firstname.lastname@example.org) at (808) 277-5611 to help you get started! These are some of the activities they organize:
- Water quality testing
- Work at Kaha Garden while learning about Native Hawaiian plants and local watershed issues
- Stream restoration projects
- removal of invasive plants
- restoring sections of the stream banks and nearby forest with native vegetation
- installing erosion control material
- educational workshops
HONOLULU CITY & COUNTY DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
These are the kinds of projects they do:
- Storm drain cleaning and stenciling
- Adopt-a-stream programs and events
- Adopt-A-Block Weed & Seed events
‘AHAHUI MĀLAMA I KA LŌKAHI
Would you like to work in Kawainui Marsh or Na Pohaku o Hawahine and learn more about Native Hawaiian culture? If so, contact Kaimi Scudder at (808) 263-8008 or email@example.com to learn about a community service project with ‘Ahahui Mālama I Ka Lōkahi!
- Work in the lo‘i and get muddy!
- Help create a wetland bird habitat for stilts and other endangered birds
- Care for native plants
HEALTHY CLIMATE COMMUNITIES
Would you like to help restore a native forest on Pu‘u o Ehu hillside above Hamakua Marsh wildlife sanctuary? Would you like to promote strategies for people in your community to reduce their carbon emissions? If so, contact Dr. Lisa Marten at (808) 228-3642 or firstname.lastname@example.org to develop a project. These are some initiatives you could be involved in:
- Remove invasive plants
- Plant and care for native plants
- Interactive workshops
- Find opportunities and make action plans for people to reduce their carbon emissions
NA ALA HELE
Would you like to work on improving the quality of Windward O‘ahu’s hiking trails? If so, contact Aaron Johnson Lowe at (808) 973-9782 or email@example.com. Aaron is the Trails and Access Specialist for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, State of Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources. He oversees O‘ahu’s 45 “Na Ala Hele” trails.
Who Can Apply?
Groups with at least three participants up to age 18 may apply including, but not limited to:
- School classes, teams, clubs, etc.
- Youth activity groups, hula halau, music groups, scouts, etc.
- Programs that serve youth
- Church youth groups
- Youth sports teams
Applicant groups must have a base in Windward O‘ahu, a majority of youth participants must be Windward O‘ahu residents and service projects should serve communities along the Windward coast from Kahuku to Waimanalo.
Applicants must be a public school or a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization or have a sponsoring agency that is a 501(c)(3) organization that can receive the funds. 501(c)(3) is a designation given to nonprofit organizations by the Internal Revenue Service. If the applicant is not a public school, you will need the organization’s 501(c)(3) Tax ID number for your application.
Youth groups can not use the Windward Youth Leadership Fund to raise funds for their own group by doing a service project that also benefits their own group. Youth groups are also encouraged to undertake projects that broaden their horizons beyond the scope of their everyday activities.
What Can We Get?
You can request from $500 to $5,000 for your youth group depending on how much you need, how many volunteers you have, and how many hours you will put into the project. If you don’t need to fundraise for your organization, but you want help paying for a community service project, that’s good, too! Youth must plan and lead the community service projects, rather than the adult members, parents, or supervisors. The more hours youth put in, the more money you can request for your project.
For example, if your group is applying for $500, you need at least 25 volunteer hours. If your group is applying for $5,000, you need at least 250 volunteer hours. The more volunteers you recruit, the easier it is to get your volunteer hours. For example, 25 youth that each put in 10 hours equals 250 volunteer hours (25×10)! If you have 10 volunteers, each one needs to contribute 25 hours to achieve 250 volunteer hours. Please note that in order to encourage the youth-driven nature of this program, only volunteer hours contributed by youth will be counted toward the total number of hours.
Who Gets Selected and Why?
Funds are limited, but the foundation will make every effort to help youth who want to help our community. The committee will weigh the following factors:
- Need for the service project – What issue does your service project try to address? What will be the positive impact on the community?
- Youth involvement – Do youth members have leadership roles and will they do most of the work? Did youth help drive the idea for the project?
- Adult roles – Are adults participating as guides and supporters without taking over roles that youth can fill?
- Planning/Preparedness – How much thought has gone into making sure your project will be successful? Do you have a good plan?
- Creativity – How much thought has gone into making the project meaningful and rewarding? What features make your project interesting and thoughtful?
- Challenge factor – How challenging is this service project for the participants? Is it age appropriate?
- Need for the funds – What are you planning to do with the funds? How will they benefit your group?
Tips for Proposing a Great Service Project
- If your interest is watershed science, research the health of and threats to your community’s watersheds. Good sources of information include service organizations, residents, web sites, teachers and environmental groups.
- Have a group discussion about watershed protection. What are the threats to our hillsides, streams and marshes? What can youth do to help reduce those threats?
- Do some preliminary project planning. Think about all the things you will need to do for a successful project including talking to potential partners ahead of time. For example, if you are going to do a service project to help restore a marsh, make sure that the groups who take the lead on that marsh are willing to have you.
- Create leadership opportunities for youth. One or two people can serve as chairpersons of the project. Youth can make calls to local agencies, gather needed equipment, and make other arrangements.
- Set goals for your project. What do you want the participants to get out of it?
- How will your group be stronger after successfully doing the project? How many people do you want to participate?
- Make it a learning experience for participants. Besides doing something good for the community, a good watershed project can teach participants something about the environment, culture, or other issues.
- Make it fun. Service projects can be just as fun as any other activity. While planning the project, think of ways to make project participants glad they showed up.
- If it is appropriate, publicize your event. Tell people about how you and your youth group are helping make our community a better place.
- Take time to reflect. When the project is complete, dedicate some time to talk about how it went, what people learned, what would you do differently next time, and how can you continue to make a difference in the community.
Are you ready to apply?