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Initiated in 1968, the Pakolea Program was created as a response to the low number of high school graduates from the Palama Settlement neighborhood. It was then called the Academic Achievement Program, based on the philosophy that sports participation could be a motivation to enhance academic performance. The name was changed to “Pakolea” meaning “train to grow straight” and in 1977 a social behavioral component was added to improve the interpersonal skills and relationships of the participants with their peers, parents, and community. Today, Pakolea focuses on positive character development, success in academic progress, and improvement in overall social-emotional functioning through increased pro-social behaviors and accountability for negatives ones for Palama Settlement’s youth.

Pakolea strives to help at-risk youth, ages 7-17, many of whom are from low-income households and neighborhoods, where they are susceptible to street influences such as gangs, juvenile delinquency, alcohol and drug use and abuse, smoking, lack of education, truancy and many other things. Staff and volunteers work to have a positive impact on these youth through sports, academics, and the teaching of skills to make wise and healthy lifestyle choices. Through different seasonal sports (football, basketball, and volleyball), participation is utilized as an incentive to improve academic progress and behavioral change in the schools and at home. Pakolea staff continues to find innovative ways to reach and engage youth and help them develop into responsible, healthy and productive adults.


Xcel Program

Registration Form
Daily Home Screening Form
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
COVID-19 Policy Parents Consent Form
Excursion Permission Form

Seasonal Schedule

Flag football
Registration: June and July
Season: September-November

Registration: November
Season: December-February

Registration: February
Season: March-May

Youth Membership Program

All Pakolea participants must become a member of Palama Settlement’s youth program. Members enjoy free activities including participation in the Leland Blackfield Youth Activity Center, the Henry & Colene Wong Computer Center, the Cecilia Blackfield Academic Center, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Gymnasium, and the pool.

To join is easy and free, just complete the membership form. Youth who have already submitted a registration form for any Palama Settlement program are already members (this includes: Pakolea Program, Swim Academy, and other youth activities and programs).

Click here to download an informational flyer.

For more information

Pi`i Minns, Jr.
Recreation Director
p. (808) 848-2503|  e.