Meet Our Staff
Adrienne Dillard, M.S.W., L.S.W.
I am the youngest daughter of Charles and Helen Dillard born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and a licensed social worker in the State of Hawaii with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Hawaii Pacific University. I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Hawaii Mānoa in Social Welfare. I arrived in Hawaii in 1984 and now reside in Pauoa with my sweetheart Thomas Wiley. I am experienced in community development; community based participatory research, and youth programming because of my service to the community of Papakolea, Kewalo and Kalawahine since 1993. I was asked by Puni who befriended me while working at HMSA “to do her a favor for a minute -T” and help with the newly formed non-profit Kula no na Po’e Hawaii to review organizational start-up documentation. I consider it all joy and a blessing to have received my training for working in the community from Grandma Maria Suganuma, Kupuna Leimomi Nahinu, Kupuna Winona Freitas, Kupuna Rufina Molaka-Lee, Kupuna Brenda Kekauoha and Uncle Bob Freitas. Each imparted their gifts that helped me understand the call upon my life to assist the planning and implementation of education and health programs, and community development activities for residents of Papakolea. I have been blessed to work in such a beautiful place and to help realize the vision of these remarkable kūpuna for Papakolea.
B. Puni Kekauoha
Puni Kekauoha has served Papakolea since 1992. Ms. Kekauoha works closely with community organizations and the Department of Native Hawaiian Health. She is most comfortable working with organizations and local service agencies to address the health disparities in the Native Hawaiian community. As a visionary leader Puni helped to form Kula No Na Po’e Hawaii serving on the board from 1992-2002. In 1999, she along with key members of the community founded the Papakolea Community Development Corporation serving as its Executive Director for 12 years. She has extensive experience in collaborating effectively with university departments to provide services to residents of Papakolea, as well as providing care to kupuna. She is a proponent of community health care networks and the strength and resiliency of a strong community.
Program Coordinator, Kukalahale Learning Project
Aloha, my name is Kaapuni Kama and I am a proud staff member of Kula no na Po`e Hawaii. Born and raised in Papakolea, I am very grateful to the kupuna and makua that have paved the way and made our work today possible. My primary role at Kula no na Po`e Hawaii is the Program Coordinator for the Kukalahale Learning Project. In this role, I am part of a team that serves the Na’auao Program at Stevenson Middle School, Kulia Program at Roosevelt High School, and their families. In the afternoons, you can find me in my “Aunty Kaa” role as I coordinate and run the Lamaku Junior Leader Program with students’ grades 6-12 after-school. I also plan and coordinate our Annual Breakfast with Santa event.
Program Coordinator, Papakolea Kupuna Community Care Network
Aloha mai kakou, I am Cappy Anuenue Shea-Solatorio of Kewalo Hawaiian Homestead. I was born and raised in this community where I attended Lincoln, Stevenson, Roosevelt and the University of Hawaii. Having a Bachelors degree in Fashion Merchandising, I made my career as a store manager at several retail stores both on Oahu as well as the Big Island. My husband, “Brada Sam” and I have been married for 31 years and have been blessed with 4 children. It was very important for me as the children were growing up to be home during their early childhood years. I opened up Anuenue’s Day care in 1989. This allowed me to care for my own children and still be able to make an income caring for others. I have been working for Kula No Na Po’e Hawaii since 2007 as a Research Assistance and Outreach Coordinator. I was recently promoted to take on the task of Project Coordinator for Papakōlea Kupuna Community Care Network (KCCN). I am so fortunate to have my parents here for the past 86 golden years and I owe it all to Ke Akua. It is very important to me to now care for them as I did my children in the past. So this job is very befitting for me not being able to serve and care for my love ones but also for the love ones in our community. The goal of this project is to help our kupuna age safely in place and to eventually create a dementia friendly community right here in Papakolea. Mahalo Nui Loa.
Born, raised and currently living in Kewalo homestead has taught me many cultural values. Hawaiian values from my grandparents, parents and my neighbors. Knowing my community and building a relationship with them is very important to me. It Is nice when you’re walking or driving in Papakolea and everyone knows your name. This is a way of knowing you made a connection.
Reflecting in 2017, I’ve started a new job in February. On November 21st, my only grandchild turns one. I was Pa’u Princess for the island of O’ahu in September for the Aloha Festival Parade and in October, I helped organize Papakolea’s first Trunk or Treat. I feel blessed and grateful for 2017 and looking forward to another great year in 2018.
Program Lead, Lamaku Afterschool Program
Welina mai me ke aloha iā ‘oukou!
It has been a little over a year now since I’ve first become a part of the Kula No Nā Po’e Hawai’i (KNNPH) ‘ohana! I was brought on board to facilitate and assist in developing After School programming that provides tutoring, homework assistance, and cultural or educational-based activities for our youth in grades K-12. I am grateful for a year full of challenges that have indicated the best ways in which we can strengthen our program to ensure that our youth are served in the most meaningful way. The Lamakū After School Program kicked off this new School Year with a total of 34 registered participants. I lead programming for keiki grades K-5, and Junior Leaders (grades 6-12) come under the direction of Kahelekaapuni Kama, also known to the kids as “Aunty Ka’a.”
My mission is to serve community to the best of my abilities by reinforcing and instilling within our youth a cultural foundation grounded in Hawaiian values and morals. Teaching and learning through our native culture can empower our youth to shape their own identity and to better meet personal expectations and standards. Ultimately, the goal is for the building of a firm foundation for our youth, families, and community.
I am a 4th generation homesteader of Papakōlea, from the ‘Ohana Kamau’u of Ka’ululā’au Street. I’m also a mother to an amazingly spirited 1 year-old daughter, and a wife to my outgoing, beyond creative husband that I am blessed to have in my life. I am truly humbled to be working alongside a wonderful KNNPH ‘ohana and look forward to the year ahead. Mahalo!
Lanay’tte “Ku’uipo” Paia
Community Liasion, Kukalahale Learning Project
Lanay’tte “Ku’uipo” Paia is a part-time community liaison with Kula No Na Po’e Hawai’i and has been blessed to serve in her community of Papakolea since November of 2016. Ku’uipo also works as an outreach specialist for the State of Hawai’i under Governor Ige’s administration and has worked years with some of Hawaii’s top social service organizations. She has worked in the social services field for over 18 years, most recently leaving her employment with Salvation Army Family Services as the Program Coordinator. Her passion and motivation is to continue helping those in our community and striving to make a bigger impact in helping Hawaii’s homeless.
Ku’uipo was born and raised in Papakolea and is part of the Silva, Paia and Kaluna families. She has graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1997 and attended University of Hawai’i Manoa. About 10 years ago, she and her hubby James had moved to Aiea with their 3 children but can still be found in Papakolea, every single day. LOL! Papakolea will always be their home!!!!
Malo E Lelei!
My name is Maata Saunitoga. I am 25 years young and of Tongan descent. I am originally from Red Wood City, CA but was raised here in Hawaii. I am happily married with 2 kids. I obtained my Medical Assistant Associates Degree from Heald College – Honolulu in 2012 and I’m currently working on getting my Community Health Worker Certification. I serve Kula no na Po`e Hawaii as a part-time Administrative Assistant and during the day I work for Ko’olau Radiology, Inc. as the Assistant Manager. I also play rugby for the Kalihi Lady Raiders Rugby Club and I am their secretary.
Mahealani Austin, M.S.W., B.S.W.
Community Liasion, Papakolea Kupuna Community Care Network
Aloha ‘oukou! My name is Mahealani Mahiai Austin and I was born and raised in Palolo Valley. I come from the Mahiai ‘ohana that resided near the entrance of Punchbowl Cemetery in the 1960s. I’m a graudate of Kamehameha Schools Class of 2001 and from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Class of 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. Currently, I’m working on my Master’s in Social Work with a focus on gerontology. I’ve been blessed to continue my practicum hours here at Kula and to have the opportunity to serve as the Community Liaison for Papakōlea’s Kūpuna Community Care Network.
I’ve been married for about five years to my sweet and supportive husband, Peter Austin, and I have two sons, Kayden and Obed. Kayden is 15 years old and attends Roosevelt High School and Obed is almost two years old. We reside in Makiki and attend New Hope Town at Roosevelt where I serve as the Children’s Ministry Director. It has been an amazing five years to serve the community through our church and through my school. I love Jesus, I love to serve, I love pigs, hiking, Hilo lychee, Hawaiian culture and research, and spending time with my ‘ohana. I am truly blessed and thankful for this exciting opportunity to do what I love and to serve this beautiful community! Mahalo piha!
Kelli Ganeku, M.S.W., B.S.W.
Youth Program Aide, Kukalahale Learning Project
My name is Kelli Anne Ganeku, I prefer to be called Kelli. I was born and raised in Liliha, now I’m currently living in Maunawili. I am a proud graduate of McKinley High School and I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Social Work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I have been given the opportunity to be with Kula No Na Po’e Hawaii since January 2016 as a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) practicum student and now I split my time between working as a Youth Program Aide and an Masters of Social Work (MSW) Practicum Student. Along with working here, I work part-time at Sunglass Hut, and I am the Secretary for both Phi Alpha Honor Society Nu Sigma Chapter and the School of Social Work Graduate Student Organization and trying to plan my 2018 dream wedding!
Chantal Keliihoomalu, M.S.W., B.S.W.
Program Assistant, Health Careers Pathways Program
I am a recent graduate of University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Masters of Social Work (MSW). I completed two years of practicum work under Adrienne Dillard at Papakōlea working with both the kūpuna and youth programs. I am currently working with KNNPH as a Research Assistant through a partnership with Kula no na Po’e Hawai’i and Dept. of Native Hawaiian Health/JABSOM. I am committed to using my life experiences and social work knowledge to assist community on all levels and aspire to be able to affect changes at the systemic level. I am dedicated, resourceful, courageous, competent, and trustworthy…I am very independent and extremely honored to be working in and supporting the Papakōlea Community!
I am originally from a small liberal college town in Humboldt County, Ca…basically raised with “hippy” ethics and the Redwood Forest was my playground. My father moved to Hawai’i when I was twelve, I attended Pearl City High School for one year and have been here permanently since I graduated. I have enjoyed twenty years of marriage to the love of my life, Samuel Keliihoomalu.