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New Member Highlight: Ko’olauloa Education Alliance Corporation
Carol Feinga, a graduate of Kahuku High, knows firsthand what students need here on the North Shore. She is now Board President of the Ko’olauloa Education Alliance Corporation, “KEAC,” which was created to support all elementary and high schools in the North Shore area from Waimea to Kualoa. Carol began her career here in the Education Department at the Polynesian Cultural Center, then worked for 9 years at the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. She served as a board member at KEAC for 5 years before becoming its Board President this year.
KEAC was created in the early 90’s by Marianne Long, whose vision was to create a fundraising arm to help schools get more financial support. “Her store started out in the corner of a classroom and now it has an international following (on the web, www.kahuku.org),” says Carol. The proceeds of the store go directly back to the schools and the schools are then able to pay for a number of various needs from supplies, athlete equipment, funding part-time employees and more. Along with raising money for the school, one of KEAC’s biggest goals is to bring about more awareness in the community about how people can donate and support Ko’olauloa schools through KEAC.
The KEAC store creates products such as shirts, hoodies, jackets, caps, beanies, and balls for each school program. High school students work there, developing experience in retail, design, merchandising, and customer service. As KEAC’s Transition Coordinator, Blake James is responsible for the student work experience of those with special needs. “We are looking at a lot of success stories with students…every bit counts,” says Carol.
Carol believes the store also strengthens relationships between people in the community. She says the store often works with local businesses and independent vendors. “We want to get the word out that people can volunteer and businesses can do in-kind contributions. Our goal is to invite people to help by either shopping here or donating.”
The store is located on the Kahuku High School campus at 56-490 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, and is open Monday-Friday. For information, call the store at 293-8919 or visit their online store, www.kahuku.org.
Pictured (L to R): Moana, KEAC employee and ROTC member; Will, KEAC employee and Kahuku Band member; Zoe, KEAC employee and Kahuku Softball Team member; Carol Feinga, KEAC Board President; Lynn, KEAC store manager; and Moki, KEAC employee and ROTC member.