Our Islands, Our Future

The one-day Patsy T. Mink Summit at the MACC, hosted by Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) STEMworks™, was an inspiring and informative gathering for high school girls of all backgrounds to network with successful female leaders in the community. “We are partnering with MEDB STEMworks™ for a second year bringing the Girls Summit to Maui,” said Colleen McAlaney, Director of Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership, YMCA Oahu. “The program is based on building interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) career paths. Through workshops in Financial Literacy, Engineering Design Challenge, Mentoring, and Advocacy, the young women explored diverse careers, defined their personal ambitions, and learned what it will take to achieve them.”

“We are excited to partner with Mink Center to host this amazing event,” said Mapu Quitazol, MEDB Program Manager. “It is important for our young women to see and hear from professional women who are in leadership and technical roles. Girls are empowered when they practice creative thinking and decision making skills.”

Mentor Leah Belmonte, Maui Representative for Governor David Ige, said, “It was so refreshing to be able to speak with our youth in mentoring sessions and be a positive influence to help them prepare and succeed in the workplace.” Keynote speaker Deanna Garcia, Corporate Operations Manager/Maui Site Lead, Akimeka LLC, explained, “Starting as an MEDB intern, I had so many opportunities that taught me how to improve my leadership skills. Whatever you dream is possible. MEDB helps you succeed. They want you to ask questions and seek out what you want to achieve. Personally, I’m so grateful, I want to give back to the community.”

Isabelle Collier, Baldwin High School 11th grader, concluded, “The Girls Summit was definitely beneficial. We were all able to talk and learn from a variety of mentors who gave us short term advice as well as advice that will be beneficial to our future. Every second at the event we were learning something new. It was an experience that every girl should be able to use in her life.”

Patsy T. Mink, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Hawaii, advocated for numerous issues, programs, and projects, including empowerment of women. I want to do the same for our community.

Deanna Garcia, Corporate Operations Manager/Maui Site Lead, Akimeka LLC