Participation: Community building during the summer months | News, sports, jobs

City says 7,000 summer jobs are available for Boston youth ages 14 to 18

The summer months are the period most people look forward to with great anticipation: the promise of good weather, gardening, outdoor activities, and quality time with loved ones. For young adults, the school year often takes up too much of their days, so the treasured summer months provide time for them to visit with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and extended families they might only see during the holidays otherwise.

With the idea that there will be no homework or tests for a few months, and seemingly endless free time to enjoy, how does one continue to build community outside of the school year and stay connected, while also embracing the relaxing summer months? The University of Hawaii extension faculty at Manoa Cooperative Extension asked this very question when discussing how to reach middle school youth and their families during the summer months to continue offering Create a Village, an intergenerational life skills program for youth ages 11-13 that is traditionally offered during school year.

A village on Maui started four years ago and has expanded to include schools and sites all over Oahu. The program includes middle school youth participants, teen mentors, adult partners, and volunteer experts from the community. Following the structure of the 4-H Club, young participants are introduced to life management skills including healthy living, financial literacy, work readiness, self-care and many other topics that help prepare them for adulthood. Teen mentors work like “Cool cousins,” Provide a role-model approach to participants, while also learning alongside young participants and gaining vital work experience and employability skills. The adult partner facilitates the program and acts in his/her capacity “my paternal aunt” or “paternal uncle,” Work directly with teen mentors to build opportunities for the whole group to develop leadership and communication skills.

Club meetings also include an expert from the community who leads hands-on learning experiences with the group. Experts serve “coupon” In the village with knowledge and wisdom to share with the younger generations. It is an important and highly valued component of creating a village that shares real life experiences with young people.

The goal of each “Create a Village Club” meeting is to provide an interactive and fun learning environment for young participants while building community through intergenerational interaction and support in a non-competitive space. Are you willing to join the program and volunteer for a few hours this summer?

Program staff are actively preparing for Summer 2023 programming with a new group of youth participants, teen mentors, and community experts, providing a unique opportunity for participants to create a village to learn, grow, and build community, while not feeling the traditional pressures that come with an academic year and workload. Convenient sharing! If you are interested in volunteering for a few hours this summer to share your life experience and knowledge, Create Village would be pleased to welcome you to Ohana! The Maui program will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 6th through June 29th in Kahului. If you know a young person between the ages of 11 and 13 who might benefit from a program such as Create a Village, spaces are still available and applications are currently being accepted.

For more information about the program, visit or email Alison Somilleda at [email protected].

* Alison Someleda is a guest author on this month’s Aging Issues column. She is a faculty member in the Kahului Office of the University of Hawaii at the Manoa Cooperative Extension. Aging Matters covers topics of interest to aging adults (everyone!) and appears on the third Saturday of each month.

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