An innovative learning program that provides at-risk youth the valuable life-skills they need to succeed was highlighted today as the Senate recognized Colette Miyamoto Kajiwara for being named the 2017 Outstanding Educator by corporate sponsors Spectrum and Hawai‘i Pizza Hut.
Kajiwara is the Director of the Alternate Learning Center Store Front School in Wahiawa, where she has helped at-risk students for more than 30 years. Store Front provides curriculum for core subjects, while motivating Central O‘ahu students who face challenging situations at home or school.
In Kajiwara’s own words, “We become the student’s friends, confidantes, advisers, disciplinarians and surrogate parents, and help rebuild lives. We teach our students that they need to be resilient to move forward, because backward is not an option if they want to survive.”