Schedule Highlights

6:45 am – Volunteers Arrival

Pre-registered volunteers arrival & check-in at the Pacific Islander Student Center for breakfast and last-minute instructions /preparations.

8:30 am – Participants Arrival & Check-In

Registration & check-in for participants & parents. Room: Campus Center Plaza | Facilitators: Registration Team & Hospitality Team

Special Performance
Music by Buster Fritz & The Crew

9:00 am – Opening Session

All conference participants will assemble in the Campus Center Plaza to listen to opening remarks and the keynote address.

Unity Song
Buster Fritz & The Crew will lead all in our conference unity song, “We Are Oceania

Welcoming Remarks
Vidalino Raatior (Director, Pacific Islander Student Center, UH Hilo)
Jermy Uowolo (President, Micronesians United – Big Island)
Councilman Greggor Ilagan (Puna)

Keynote Address
Diana-RuegilinDiana Ruegilin Machado

A native of Yap, Diana Ruegilin Machado served in the United States Coast Guard during the Gulf War stationed in Guam, left to attend Nursing School in Hawaii and had been a Registered Nurse in Hilo for the last 17 year in a variety of settings, currently working on the Surgical/Pediatric Unit at Hilo Medical Center. She’d owned and operated an Adult Care Home and currently running a B&B business.  Diana was a past president of Micronesians United – Big Island (MU-BI), and had served as a speaker/ panelist on numerous Micronesian related and Nursing events on the island.

10:00 AM – BREAK

10:10 am – Parent Session

A panel of Pacific Islander faculty and students from UH Manoa will lead a talk story session (talanoa) with Pacific Islander parents about ways to help their children to prepare for college.

Presenters: Dr. Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai, Marthafferine (Martha) Horiuchi-Henry, Lesalatalataeao (Taeao) Cole, Samalaulu Chrissy Lam Yuen, Dr. Fata Simanu-Klutz
Room: Campus Center 306 | Facilitator: Dr. Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai (Community Partnership & Research Specialist at the UH Manoa Office of Multicultural Student Services) & Dr. Fata Simanu-Klutz

10:10 am – Session I: Career-Readiness

Ever wonder if you can have a career in the US? What kind of careers are possible for Pacific Islanders in Hawaii? Come listen to a diverse panel of Pacific Island professionals from Micronesians United – Big Island (MU-BI) who will share about their jobs and the paths they’ve taken to get to where they are today.

Presenters: Jermy Uowolo (Environmental Conservation), Micaela Lewis Aizawa (Hospital), Jocelyn “Josie” Jose Howard (Social Services), Angela Faanunu (Urban Planning), Christelle Iriarte Ishoda Bockrath (Education), Sita Gonzalez (Business)
Room: Campus Center 301 | Facilitator: Andrew Polloi (Micronesians United – Big Island)

Panelists from the Prosecutor’s Office, Police Department, and other public safety officers will share their stories .

Presenters: Eddie Yeichy (Prosecutor’s Office), John Kahiapo (Conservation & Resource Enforcement), Chenoa Paiva ( Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility), Ha’aheo M. Kaho’ohalahala (Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney)
Room: 3rd Floor Lobby | Facilitator: Tim Hansen (Office of the Prosecuting Attorney)

A panel of Pacific Islander veterans and currently serving personnel will discuss their experiences in the US military service to help you determine whether the US military is the right career path for you or not.

Presenters: Anthony Actouka (Navy), Thomas Raffipiy (Army), Diana Ruegilin Machado (Coast Guard), Sean-Michael Cantero (National Guard)
Room: Campus Center 307 | Facilitator: Thomas Raffipiy (US Army)

11:00 AM – BREAK

11:10 am – Session II: College-Readiness

Join UH Manoa students  share information about the Pasefika Passion Pipeline (3P) project aimed at increasing recruitment of Pacific Islander high schoolers to UH community colleges in collaboration with Office of Vice President for UH-CCs.

Speakers: Marthafferine (Martha) Horiuchi-Henry, Lesalatalataeao (Taeao) Cole, Samalaulu Chrissy Lam Yuen
Room: 301 | Facilitators: Dr. Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai & Dr. Fata Simanu-Klutz

Workshop 2: COLLEGES: Private or Public?
Come and learn about the difference between community college vs 4-year, public vs private university.

Presenters: Lindon Likiche (Hawaii Community College), Martin Moore (Chaminade University), Yu Suenaga (UH Manoa), Axel Defngin (UH Hilo)
Room: 3rd floor Art Gallery | Facilitator: Vidalino Raatior

A panel of Pacific Islander college students from UH Hilo, Hawaii Community College, Chaminade University, and UH Manoa will share their college journeys and offer tips on how to choose, apply, and fund a college education based on their personal experiences.

Presenters: John Alokoa (Kealakehe, UH Hilo), Lindon Likiche (Pahoa HS, Hawaii CC), Atinwirong Saburo (Hilo HS, UH Hilo), Taeliza Perez (Waiakea HS, UH Hilo),  Star Faiumu (Samoan / Hawaiian, Hawaii CC)
Room: Campus Center 307 | Facilitator: Suzie Lippwe

11: 50 AM – BREAK

12:00 pm – Resource Fair Lunch

Do You Want ThisDuring lunch, participants are encouraged to visit the various booths to pick up resources, tips, handouts, and talk to experts or participants. Visit all the booths to be entered into our raffle drawing for prizes (Grand Prize: Kindle Fire HDXsponsored by UH Hilo’s Student Activities Council).


Stop by this booth to meet officers for Pacific Islander student organizations such as the Chuukese Student Association, Kosrae Hilo Organization, International Student Association, Ngelekel Belau Club, Marshallese Iakwe Club, Pohnpei Kasalehlia Club, Tupulaga O Samoa mo a Taeao, Waab Student Organization, and others.

College Reps
Stop by this booth to learn about the various colleges and universities in the State of Hawaii, the programs they offer, admission process, etc. Confirmed schools: University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hawaii Community College & Palamanui Campus, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chaminade University.

Student Support Programs
Did you know that on every college campus there are offices that support the needs of Pacific Islander students or all college students. Stop by this booth to pick up resources and talk to students and experts from college students support services (e.g. Minority Access & Achievement Program, Pacific Islander Student Center, etc)


Come and learn some practical tips from Pacific Islander youth who are working on and off campus in the Highly Engaged Learning Placements (HELP).

Talk to representatives and speakers from Department of Health Hawaii District Office, Hawaii Youth Network, Goodwill Industries, We Are Oceania, etc.


Come and meet the various speakers from the community who are successfully engaged in their careers including Micronesians United – Big Island, Immigrant Resource Center, Gongfulball Academy of Athletic Development,  Hawaii County Division of Conservation & Resource Enforcement, Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, etc.


Go Global
Prepare to engage in international affairs and education by coming to meet representatives from the United Nations Association – USA Hawaii Island Chapter, and pick up information about  the Center for Global Education & Exchanges, National Student Exchanges, and International Students Services & Intercultural Education (ISS & IE).

FOCUS #Act to Change
Stop by the Federation Of Concerned & United Students (FOCUS) instagram to sign The Pledge against bullying take your picture to post on the Act to Change national / international campaign to stop bullying.

1:30 pm – Session III: Community Readiness

Representatives from various social services, youth agencies,  community churches will share ways to get engaged in community service.

Presenters: Waerin Edwin (Goodwill), Josie Howard (We Are Oceania), Andrew Polloi (Counseling Services)
Room: Campus Center 301 | Facilitator: Tulpe Day

Workshop 2: GROWTH MINDSET: Are you half full or half empty?
In this workshop, you will learn about what it is and what you can do to help achieve growth.  

Speaker: Darlene Du Brall (Hawaii Youth Network)
Room: Campus Center 306 | Facilitator: Lisa Abraham-Rengechel

Workshop 3: HELPers
Are you interested in knowing how college students are impacting their education by working in businesses, agencies, projects related to their majors in college? This session will introduce you to UH Hilo Pacific Islander students who worked in areas that impact their academic majors as part of the Highly Engaged Learning Positions (HELP).

Presenters: Cheryll Ligohr (Pohnpei, Micronesia Red Cross), Suzie Lippwe (Hilo, ALEX), Joannie Marvin (Palau, Ministry of Finance), Tearina Asiata (Samoa, Accounting)
Room: Campus Center 307 | Facilitator: Suzie Lippwe

Workshop 4: FOCUS: Act to Change
At this session, you will learn about a new organization called Federation of Concerned & United Students (FOCUS) whose mission is to train Pacific Islander youth in Hawaii to combat stereotypes, bullying, and other challenges facing schools today.

Speaker: Vid Raatior (Pacific Islander Student Center), Outreach Team
Room: 3rd floor lobby | Facilitator: Lashay Masami

Come learn from the founder of Gongfuball Academy of Athletic Development (GAAD) how to improve your skills while helping to create simple team-building games for your friends and community.

Speaker: Steven Martin (Founder, GAAD)
Room:  (Outside) Lava Landing | Facilitator: None


2:20 pm – Closing Session

Conference participants will gather in Campus Center Plaza for the closing remarks and cultural performances.

Speakers: Dr, Brad Bennet, Superintendent, Hilo-Waiakea Area Complex |  Mitch Roth, Prosecutor, County of Hawai’i
Room: Campus Center Plaza | Facilitator: Vid Raatior

3:30 – 3:45 pm – Cultural Performance

Performers:  Tupulaga O Samoa Mo A Taeo (The Samoan Club)

3:45 pm – Group Photo

All participants, volunteers, performers, speakers will gather right after the performance for a group photo in the Campus Center Plaza.

4:00 pm – Clean Up & Pau