Posts in Category: latest news

2023-2024 Palama Settlement Scholarship Program

Applications for the 2023-2024 Palama Settlement Scholarships
will be available on January 3, 2023.

8 Dec

UH Architecture Presentation -December 16

It’s been such an exciting year for Palama Settlement and yet there is so much more in the works for 2022! One of the highlights of our year came at the tail end as a group of University of Hawai‘i Architecture students presented their final group projects aimed at helping Palama Settlement improve its campus, accessibility, and public access for the entire community to enjoy.

The idea for this class project was initiated by Michael Bennett, former NFL star and humanitarian, along with Jasper Wong, founder and lead director of POW! WOW!. The two friends were discussing the lack of public facilities for the youth and elderly in the Kalihi/Palama area. They really wanted to help build a community gathering place in the area and felt Palama Settlement would be a great location. Since neither of the two are architects, Jasper Wong reached out to a good friend, Bundit Kanisthakhon, who is both an architect and professor.

Under the direction of Professor Kanisthakhon, his class Arch 490 explored the idea of inclusive design to help make our environment usable and friendly for everyone. The mission was to integrate the programmatic needs of Palama Settlement with design generated in this class to achieve safe, convenient, and appealing environments without barriers for people from the community. It will also help foster the awareness of both natural and built environments not only within the Palama Settlement campus but also the neighboring areas. Students were encouraged to identify problematic areas and to come up with empathetic design solutions. They were also encouraged to explore various ways to enhance the sense of community through creative design approaches with arts and architecture. The long-term goal is to implement some of these ideas into Palama Settlement’s campus in the near future.

Mahalo to Jasper Wong, Michael Bennett, and Bundit Kanisthakhon for your creative thinking and compassion in these first steps to making Palama Settlement more accessible to everyone in the community!

31 Dec

The Palama Settlement Digital Arts Academy Receives Grant from The Creative City

The Palama Settlement Digital Arts Academy Receives Grant from The Creative City
Honolulu, HI—Palama Settlement’s Digital Arts Academy headed by POW! WOW! founder and lead director, Jasper Wong, received a generous and timely $8,000 grant from The Creative City, according to Anna Stone, program administrator for Palama Settlement. The inaugural class of the Digital Arts Academy included 15 high school students, some who do not own an iPad, and needed to borrow devices from the Palama Settlement learning center to complete their projects.
The generous grant was used to purchase new iPads for the Digital Arts students, which is integral to the students’ creative aspirations. “It is important that students have the freedom and confidence to express their creativity. Having their own iPad that they can take home, and use beyond the classroom, affords a complete experience with digital arts,” said Karen Chang Blangiardi, founder of The Creative City.
“Words can’t express our sincere gratitude to Karen Chang and The Creative City for this generous gift,” said Anna Stone. “Our Digital Arts students are so talented. This grant will ensure they now have the proper tools to share their creativity with the world.”
“When I was child my parents owned a shop near Farrington High School, so this neighborhood has always been near and dear to my heart. I know what an art and technology school at Palama Settlement could do for this community that is overflowing with talented youth that may not have the proper tools that could take their talent to the next level,” said Jasper Wong. “I am so grateful for The Creative City for jumping in to support the aspirations of my art students.”
The Creative City is dedicated to providing leadership and resources to grow O’ahu into a place where culture and arts play a major role in delivering quality of life for everyone. The Creative City strives to increase access to and opportunities in the arts, as well as create a sustainable creative ecosystem for our island community. The Creative City fund is managed by the Hawai’i Community Foundation, with distribution of funds stewarded by The Creative City fund advisors. For more information, visit
Established in 1896, Palama Settlement is a nonprofit, community-based social service agency serving the Kalihi and Palama neighborhoods. Palama Settlement offers a wide range of educational, recreational, athletic, cultural, social, health, and community building programs and services for children, youth, adults, and senior citizens. Palama Settlement’s mission is to partner with those who have the greatest needs in the community, empowering them to enhance their well-being through health, education, and recreation. For more information, visit

Jasper Wong, POW! WOW! founder and lead director, works with his students from the Digital Arts Academy class at Palama Settlement this past summer. A Digital Arts Academy student works on a class project using an iPad this past summer.
11 Oct

Palama Settlement Welcomes New Members to its Board of Trustees

Palama Settlement is pleased to welcome Antonet Barut, Tim Gillaspie, Lowell Gillia, Daniel Lam,
Glenn Medeiros, and Stevie-Lyn Takata to its Board of Trustees.

Antonet Barut
Antonet Barut has over 21 years of Hawaii real estate sales experience. Barut is an eight-year Air Force veteran and specializes in working with veterans, first time home buyers, and luxury clients. She has also been an eight-time Ruby Award Winner; Top Producer; TOP 100 REALTOR team member; and a multiple Aloha ‘Āina Award nominee, an award based on client nominations that honors realtors who have gone above and beyond in client service and maintain the highest ethical standards. Barut is also a former program participant of Palama Settlement and looks forward to serving on the Board of Trustees. She enjoys hiking, fishing, and traveling in her spare time. Barut is also a donor and volunteer of Farrington High School and actively supports the school’s band scholarship program.

Tim Gillaspie
Tim Gillaspie is a Senior Program Manager for Amazon Web Service (AWS) where he manages a team of cross functional experts to field strategically impactful programs for AWS training and certification. Tim is a recently retired Air Force Colonel whose last assignment was as Logistics Operations Division Chief for US Indo-Pacific Command. He had 11 other assignments from base level to the Headquarters Air Force in the Pentagon. He has served on the board of Habitat for Humanity in Montgomery, Alabama, President of four different local chapters of the Logistics Officer Association (LOA), and the Chair of the LOA National Board of Directors Nominating Committee. He currently serves as a class representative on the U.S. Air Force Academy Class Advisory Senate and as president of the Hawaii Triathlon Center Club.

Lowell Gillia
Lowell Gillia is President and Creative Director of Design Asylum, a locally-owned full-service, multidisciplinary design firm. The design firm focuses on developing integrated brand strategies for clients including brand and logo concepts, graphic design, and website development. Gillia also serves as a lecturer at Honolulu Community College for courses such Portfolio Presentation, Typography, and Beginning Graphic Design. Gillia is also a multiple Pele Award recipient. He has served the community for several organizations including Lanakila Pacific and Nuuanu Elementary School. Gillia has been married for over 18 years and has two sons. In his spare time, Gillia enjoys collecting comic books and doing home renovations.

Daniel Lam
Daniel Lam is a business attorney with Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP where he assists public and private companies in various structural, governance, and transactional matters. He specializes in corporate (profit and nonprofit), LLC, partnership, contract, and securities laws, and handles compliance, negotiation, and drafting matters in various areas including mergers and acquisitions, capital raises, and commercial contracts. Lam has been recognized as a Hawaii State Bar Association Leadership Institute Fellow in 2018; a selection to Super Lawyers Rising Stars each year since 2018; and a selection to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for 2021 and 2022. He is fluent in conversational Japanese and is active in the community, volunteering for a number of nonprofit organizations including the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association (includes First Tee Hawaii) where he serves on the board of directors and as treasurer, Business Law Corps, Volunteer Legal Services Hawai‘i, and Hawaii State Bar Foundation. Lam is a graduate of Creighton University School of Law, Gonzaga University, and Punahou School. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf.

Dr. Glenn Medeiros
Dr. Glenn Medeiros is in his seventh year as President of Saint Louis School. Prior to joining Saint Louis School, Dr. Medeiros served as an Assistant Professor at Chaminade University. For 8 years, Dr. Medeiros served as Vice Principal and high school teacher at Maryknoll School. Medeiros is also a singer and songwriter who achieved national and international success. Medeiros is a graduate of University of Southern California’s Rosier School of Education and University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu. Medeiros was born in Lihue, Kauai. He and his wife Tammy have a son, Chord, and daughter, Lyric.

Stevie-Lyn Takata
Stevie-Lyn Takata is the co-founder of branding and marketing agency, Refinery Creative, where her expertise spans a wide range of tactics including brand strategy, traditional and digital marketing and advertising, content production, and more. With a passion to help build thriving communities, Takata specializes in marketing for real estate developments. In her former role as Vice President of Client Services at Honolulu marketing company Ocean Blue, she has contributed to the successful delivery of projects such as Park Lane Ala Moana, The Collection, Waihonua at Kewalo, and Pacifica Honolulu, as well as the residential and retail offerings at Ward Village. In addition to her work with Palama Settlement, Takata serves on the board of ULI Hawaii Young Leaders Group and is the current past president of the AIGA Honolulu board of directors. She is a proud graduate of Seattle University and Kamehameha Schools Kapālama.

8 Sep

City Mill Donates $10,000 to Help Preserve Palama Settlement History

As Palama Settlement prepares to commemorate its 125th Anniversary, City Mill and the David C. Ai Charitable Trust present a large donation to
ensure Kalihi /Palama’s history will be preserved.
(HONOLULU) City Mill’s David C. Ai Charitable Trust presented the historic Palama Settlement with a generous donation to assist with a large-scale preservation and digitization project of photos, historic newspaper articles, annual reports, neighborhood surveys, oral histories and so much more.

“When we first opened the archives, Steven Ai was among the first to visit and was impressed with all the photos and documents that had been preserved for more than 100 years,” said Paula Rath, trustee emeritus for the Palama Settlement Board of Trustees. “Since City Mill has experienced three fires during their storied history, he expressed concern for the welfare of the archives and the importance of digitizing our thousands of photos and documents. At that moment, he promised that the David C. Ai Charitable Trust would help enable our digitization.”

“We are pleased to support this wonderful project which will help preserve the extraordinary collection of history and memories in the Kalihi-Palama area,” said Steven Ai, president and CEO of City Mill. “From its start 125 years ago, Palama Settlement has chronicled the people, culture and events that has exemplified the spirit and community of this area. This project will ensure that its photo and document collections will now be preserved digitally for current and future generations to see.”

“My late mother, Jacky Rath, a retired librarian, spent more than ten years converting random boxes of photos, newspaper articles, and historical documents into an organized Finding Aid,” said Rath. “This made our cataloging and digitization possible. She would be amazed at the current digitization process, as she created the Finding Aid entirely in pencil, without the aid of a computer.”

With the generous donation, Palama Settlement was recently able to properly outfit the Palama Archives and begin the process of digitization.

Established in 1896, Palama Settlement is a nonprofit, community-based social service agency serving the Kalihi and Palama neighborhoods. Palama offers a wide range of educational, recreational, athletic, cultural, social, health, and community building programs and services for children, youth, adults, and senior citizens. Palama Settlement’s mission is to partner with those who have the greatest needs in the community, empowering them to enhance their well-being through health, education, and recreation.

Carol Ai May and Steven Ai
Photo Courtesy: City Mill

18 May

Press Release


Palama Settlement Launches Expanded Technology Program for At-Risk Teens: $50,000 Grant from The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation Fuels Coding & Graphic Design in Kalihi

HONOLULU, Hawaii – On Saturday, July 27, The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation presented a check in the amount of $50,000 to Palama Settlement to support coding and digital media classes for its In-Community Treatment Program and Community Based School (ICTP/CBS). The Ching Foundation Executive Director Tertia Freas and The Ching Foundation Trustees Bob Fujioka and Cathy Ching made the presentation at Palama’s end of summer STEAM education exhibition celebration, which was attended by Palama keiki and their families.  This summer the students participated in coding and robotics classes which were led by the instructors from Twiddle Productions. This event was their opportunity to share the games and robotic boats that they created throughout the course of the class.

Representatives from The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation present PalamaSettlement with a $50,000 check for its ICTP/CBS technology program.**Back row, from left to right: Ching Foundation Trustee Cathy Ching, Ching Foundation Executive Director Tertia Freas, Ching Foundation Trustee Bob Fujioka, and Palama Settlement Board of Trustees President John Taira.
For additional photos, click here.**
**Check presentation took place during the 2019 end of summer STEAM education exhibit which featured keiki coding and robotics participants (pictured). ICTP/CBS youth are not pictured, due to the confidentiality.

Thanks to the generosity of The Ching Foundation grant, Palama Settlement will continue its partnership with Twiddle Productions to launch an expanded technology training program for ICTP/CBS students. “Our Foundation continues to support programs that improves the lives of children in our state, especially for those that come from families that are financially challenged,” says Tertia Freas, Executive Director of The Ching Foundation. “The education in technology will enable these children to develop their talents and realize their capabilities in the future.”

Students will create their own websites and edit videos using Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Scratch. The goal of this course is to allow students the opportunity to learn some of the marketable skills required for a successful entry into the job market. The grant funds will be used for personnel costs and supplies for the program.

“The coding and graphic design course for ICTP/CBS is part of a series of new program offerings at Palama Settlement,” says Earl Fusato, Executive Director of Palama Settlement. “We are striving to focus on technology and arts activities like those that have either been discontinued or are not available in our public schools. We are grateful to The Ching Foundation for recognizing the importance of STEAM education and skill building for our teens. Without this funding, this program would limit the opportunity we can offer to our students.”

About In-Community Treatment Program and Community Based School

The students enrolled in the In-Community Treatment Program (ICTP) and Community Based School (CBS) are at-risk youth who have demonstrated difficulties in the traditional school setting due to various reasons ranging from chronic truancy, and behavioral issues, as well as social and family dysfunction. . Since 1970 ICTP has been accepting adjudicated youth referred by Family Court and 2018, CBS began accepting students who display at-risk behaviors, but are not adjudicated.  The goal of  is to improve school performance and attendance, eliminate law violating behaviors and develop socially acceptable skills and attitudes through a low student-to- staff ratio to reengage and motivate, the students desire to learn and reach their goals.


About Palama Settlement

Established in 1896, Palama Settlement is a non-profit, community-based social service agency serving the Kalihi and Palama neighborhoods. We offer a wide range of educational, recreational, athletic, cultural, social, health, and community building programs and services for children, youth, adults, and senior citizens.

Website:  |  Facebook: @malamapalama  |  Instagram: @palamasettlement

Media Contact

Leah LeeDonor Relations & Marketing Coordinatorp. (808) 848-2532 |  e.

2 Aug

Palama Settlement Summer Enrichment Program 2019

Program Registration Form-PICK UP AUTHORIZATION-Copy of T-shirt order form-Financial Aid application(Optional)

16 Mar

PreK ACE Boost Program – Now Accepting Registrations!

Click on the image above for a PDF version of this flyer.
To register, complete the registration form and the authorization pick up form.

4 Apr