Hale ‘Ōpio began attending school with our group home students in 1976 and continued daily on-campus staffing and nightly tutoring and study hall for over thirty years. Connection to education is a significant protective factor; young people who gain a sense of mastery in school are highly likely to continue to experience success in other areas of their lives, and actually live healthier lives. The alternative is often the “school to prison pipeline”, with exponential human and financial costs. All Hale ‘Ōpio programs are founded on directly supporting youth to achieve self-efficacy.
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Based on our founding group home program experiences, Hale ‘Ōpio has taken the skills, opportunities, and experiences that successfully met the needs of youth in residential treatment and now offers programs to all youth that address key developmental areas: teen pregnancy and STI prevention; developing healthy relationships; strengthening bonds of mothers and daughters; character development to support academic achievement, prevent bullying and risky behaviors, among other programs. Our investments in prevention leverage the talents of our young people who thrive, unfettered by harmful decisions.
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Hale ‘Ōpio emerged from a Judiciary needs assessment in the 70’s for professional services to impact the trajectory of young lives. Numerous studies since then underscore the need to provide programs that keep all but the most egregious offenders out of the courts. Peers often influence each other more than adults. Based on this premise, teen courts are the most replicated juvenile justice diversion program in the nation. Additionally, our cultural foundation is built on reconciliation and repairing the harm done. Our diversion services underscore youth responsibility to ‘Ohana and build civic engagement.
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Without a nurturing foundation, even the most privileged child suffers. Hale ‘Ōpio has been witness to the flowering of thousands of island youth who have grown due trusted, caring staff, access to new experiences, and the comfort of safety and sanctuary. Unconditional positive regard for young life and constant tending youth needs to understand their world and take their place in it, is a keystone in our residential services that link youth and families to the many partners who share our mission.
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