Ewa Beach Teen Up For Youth Of The Year Award
now is serving as a mentor for younger kids at Hale Pono Clubhouse.
Her sister Angela was also a candidate for 2014 Youth of the Year. She joined the leadership program and, like her sister, serves as a mentor for her younger peers and volunteers for numerous communityservice projects. Over the past year, Angela has dedicated more than 100 hours to service.
Congratulations to Joy and Angela for serving as inspirational examples, and my personal mahalo to Hale Pono Clubhouse in Ewa Beach for giving both girls hope for a brighter future!
A third inspirational young person whom I was fortunate to meet is Ewa Beach resident Alyshia Shimizu. She made headlines in 2000 when she contracted flesheating bacteria at the age of 5, forcing her to undergo numerous surgeries and years of physical therapy. She overcame the physical challenges but found that the bullying and taunting from classmates were difficult to cope with.
Alyshia developed a positive outlook on life, which helped her to deal with her peers’ cruel remarks. She enrolled in karate and entered beauty pageants to gain more self-confidence. During these beauty com- petitions, Alyshia found that she wasn’t alone when it came to being bullied. She used her platform as a beauty pageant contestant to speak out against bullying.
I presented Alyshia an honorary certificate at the City Council’s Feb. 19 meeting for perseverance in the face of adversity and for her courageous stance against bullying. Alyshia’s story inspires scores of young people to believe in themselves and rise above whatever obstacles come their way in life.
City Councilman Ron Menor with Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii member Joy Gabriel, who is one of five regional candidates for the state Youth of the Year award. Photo courtesy of Ron Menor.