Nā Leo O Nā ‘Ōpio recently organized the 13th Annual Career Opportunity Expo (Career Pathways Fair/Summer Opportunities Expo) at the Honpa Hongwanji Sangha Hall. The County of Hawai’i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney received a grant in 2000 to fight the problem of drugs and juvenile delinquency in our community. Nā Leo O Nā ‘Ōpio, a youth organization, was formed and is made up of students from Big Island high schools. Nā Leo O Nā ‘Ōpio students work to bring about change in their schools and communities with a focus on preventing drug use and juvenile delinquency.The main objective of the Opportunities Expo 2016 is to offer students information about various career options and summer opportunities. These options include jobs, educational programs, and community volunteer and internship opportunities. The expo will serve to remind all students that the classes they are currently taking in middle and high school have a direct impact on their future careers. Through exposure to various career options and summer opportunities, we hope to encourage youth to work hard in school, take appropriate classes, participate in summer opportunities, and stay away from drugs and other harmful substances.
Over 250 students from Hilo High, Lanakila Learning Center, Waiakea High, Keaau High, Keaau Middle, Kua o Ka La, Ola I Ka Hana, Kalanianaole, HAAS, and Kau High Schools attended the expo. The students got to meet with over 120 presenters from 49 organizations. Presenters included County of Hawaii, DOE, National Guard, Hawaii Community College, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Medical Center, banks and credit unions, KTA Super Stores, various telescopes, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, various military organizations.I attended as a representative of the Business Education Program of Hawaii Community College.HawCC also had reps from fire science, carpentry, nursing, administration of justice, and culinary programs. It was very heartwarming to see young students focused on their goals for the future. I don’t recall being as driven as these students when I was in middle school or even in high school. In fact, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I look forward to the successes and achievements of this generation of youth.I even got to meet my IG pal @broaloha IRL (in real life) who was there representing KTA. Living Hilo Style.