AAPIP Voices

Aloha Spirit in DC


By: Noelle Ito, AAPIP Community Philanthropy Director

You can learn and read about the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court, and Washington DC in a classroom– but it’s different to see them in person. This spring, a group of 8th graders from Hilo will see firsthand just what that looks like. For many, it will be their first time on an airplane and the first time out of the State of Hawai’i.

None of this would have happened but for a small group of dedicated educators that, for years, have worked with Native Hawaiian students in different schools. Collectively, they sought to broaden the horizons for these boys and girls. They didn’t know a millionaire that could support the cause, but they knew many people in the community cared the same way they did and together they could make a bigger impact.

By starting Pō’aha Giving Circle, they tapped into the sharing culture of Native Hawaiians and grew a vibrant group of everyday philanthropists. Friends, families, and students were empowered to give and make decisions by and for their community. By pooling modest amounts of money, the Circle raised $11,000 and pursued their dream to help Native Hawaiian students excel socially and academically.

To read more stories of dreamers and doers starting giving circles in their community, Follow us @AAPIPcircles on Twitter

Interested in starting, joining, or matching a Giving Circle? Contact