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Our Mission

The Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN) is committed to inspiring Pasefika students and families by providing high-quality, culturally responsive services and resources to eliminate educational and opportunity inequities. We serve as a bridge to develop stronger relationships between students, families, schools, and the community.

  • Students and Families Served
    Students and Families Served


  • Departments: Youth and Young Adults, Family Services, Arts and Culture
    Departments: Youth and Young Adults, Family Services, Arts and Culture


  • Volunteer Hours
    Volunteer Hours


  • Dollars Raised
    Dollars Raised


Sharing the history and heritage of Pasefika (Pacific) Identity!

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku was born (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) to a noble family of Native Hawaiians of Duke Halapu Kahanamoku and Julia Pa’akonia Lonokahikina Paoa. Ms. Paoa was a direct descendant of Kamehameha I. Shortly after Duke Jr. was born, the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown, the territory became a state, and Duke became a United States citizen. Duke Jr. had five brothers and three sisters.

Representing the United States in the Olympics, Duke Medal record: 1912 Stockholm Olympic - Gold Medal in the 100m freestyle | 1912 Stockholm Olympic - Silver Medal in the 4 x 200m freestyle | 1920 Antwerp Olympic - Gold Medal in the 100m freestyle | 1920 Antwerp Olympic - Gold Medal in the 4 x 200m freestyle | 1924 Paris Olympic - Silver Medal in the 100m freestyle

Duke surfed on, January 22, 1968, at the age of 77 from a heart attack.

The first Pacific Islander to reach the Challenger Deep! Nicole Yamase is an inspirational role model for young Pacific Islanders interested in pursuing STEM. Nicole was born in Pohnpei but dwelled in other parts of the Federated States of Micronesia. As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hawaii studying Marine Biology: I just want young Pacific Islanders to see that there is no limit to what we can accomplish. I want them to see themselves in me. We can do anything! I hope this experience inspires other young Pacific Islanders to pursue STEM fields and higher education, so that they can serve as a role model for the next generation.

"Yamase's inspiring voyage to the Challenger Deep is a once-in-a-lifetime journey to a place that less than 20 people visited before in human history," said Malte Stuecker--assistant professor at University of Hawaii Manoa Dept of Oceanography. "And now I could see, quite literally how these reefs in the Federated States of Micronesia are connected with the deepest place on Earth," added Yamase.

Mau Piailug (1932 - 2010) was a Micronesian navigator from the Carolinian island of Satawal, best known as a teacher of traditional, non-instrument wayfinding methods for open-ocean voyaging. Mau's navigation methods relied on elements of nature, such as the sun, stars, winds and clouds, seas and swells, and birds and fish...