Our Islands, Our Future

Maui High School senior Cyndi Segundo leaves home for college this fall, but sustains a strong desire to come back one day. “The Youth Alliance inspired me to return to Maui and give back to the community that has nurtured me since I was a small child,” said Segundo, a member of the Class of 2012. She spent four years participating in a wide range of activities with the Youth Alliance, administered by Maui Economic Development Board. “Youth Alliance has been beneficial to me because it helped me develop my leadership skills by designing activities that make me think, ask questions and find solutions.”

Youth Alliance members are encouraged to become leaders for change as they are guided by the Focus Maui Nui vision, values and key strategies for action. In her four years with the Youth Alliance, Segundo has interacted with the Maui County Council. She’s ridden a boat off Ma‘alaea Harbor to view whales and dolphins, taken an overnight trip to Hana and spent a day at The Maui News to see how the island’s only daily newspaper operates. “Each event is a learning experience,” she said. Youth Alliance Project Coordinator Willow Krause looks at what students are interested in and tries to coordinate community service projects and/or educational excursions that will empower them to engage in local events. This past year, students assisted with the annual Maui Food Bank food drive and they provided input at a community forum on revitalizing Wailuku town.

“Students should consider joining Youth Alliance because it’s a way to learn more about the community and what they can do to help,” Segundo said. “Each activity is directed by individuals who are successful in their own fields, which gives students the chance to work with professionals who are willing to share their experiences.” To participate, students must be attending school in grades 9 through 12; the program is also available for home schooled teenagers. For more information, contact Krause at 875-2432, or e-mail: Deadline to register is Sept. 7.