City Council Receives Award for Youth Civic Engagement Program | News, Sports, Jobs

The National Association of Counties presented Maui County Council with a 2022 Excellence in Civic Engagement and Public Information Award for the youth-focused Imi Pono Challenge at the NACo Annual Conference last month in Aurora, Colorado.

In the summer of 2020, Board Chair Alice Lee and her colleagues launched the “Imi Pono Challenge” in collaboration with middle and high school students to create lasting solutions to the negative social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. . Lee said the program was created to inspire young people in Maui County to get involved in community affairs and seek justice, or imi pono.

“We wanted to harness the ideas of young people in Maui County and remind them that they always have a place at the table when it comes to building and restoring community,” said Lee. “We will continue to look for innovative ways to engage our youth and keep them informed on key issues. »

In a statement on its website announcing the board price, NACo said that “All participants – including board members, students and their families, schools and communities – have been enriched by the ‘Imi Pono Challenge’ experience.

There were 175 entries from 15 schools across the county. Winning entrants were recognized and given the opportunity to connect with community mentors to bring their ideas to life, Lee said.

The council has partnered with Maui Economic Opportunity and other community members to make ‘Imi Pono a perpetual program.

“We are so excited that a program like this can be created and sustained,” said Debbie Cabebe, CEO of MEO. “The upcoming theme will focus on preventing underage drinking and raising awareness of the dangerous lure of juice-flavored alcoholic beverages.”

Cabebe said the program will mount a public education campaign in early 2023, which will include public service announcements, posters and appeals to traders.

For more information, contact the Office of Counseling Services at (808) 270-8008 or Cabebe’s office at (808) 249-2990.

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