If you live in the North Shore or Upcountry area of Maui, you may have received something in the mail this week from the Paia Youth and Cultural Center. Every couple of years the youth center sends direct mail to the community seeking contributions to help fund this great local non-profit. Billy and I are both board members at the Youth Center and are proud of the work that the staff does with kids in the community.
If you aren’t familiar with the Youth Center, here is a quick run down on some of the programs and services that they provide.
- The Hekili Media Lab teaches kids to use technology such as the Internet, audio and video media production. The kids use these skills for both artistic, service oriented and entrepreneurial projects. Examples of some of the kids recent efforts include surf and skateboard videos, anti tobacco education projects, recording their own music and more.
- The Paia Bay Cafe helps teach kids cooking and life skills. The kids learn how to prepare meals from scratch with a focus on cultural and healthy meal preparation.
- The Stone Wave Skatepark is a great venue that hosts competitions and open skates. The skate park is open Wed-Saturday and is available for special events.
- The Ocean Beach club takes youth center members on excursions throughout Maui from rain forest hikes to surfs, to trips up the crater.
- I imagine there are quite a few people who’s main exposure to the Youth Center are through its radio station. RadiOpio 89.5 is a low powered radio station that can be heard throughout Paia, parts of Haiku and much of the Upcountry. Depending on atmospheric conditions, I have also heard the station in South Maui and portions of Central Maui. You can also listen to radiOpio online. The kids are in charge of radio shows and musical selections.
- The Girls Club at the youth center provides positive activities and role models for the girls members.
In addition to programming, kids at the youth center work on charity projects and beach clean ups. They also just enjoy hanging around PYCC, playing with friends and enjoying the mentoring of the staff. Youth center membership is at an all time high with interest growing every day. If you are interested in making a contribution to the youth center, you can donate online. Your support would be most appreciated.