Skip to main content
Peer Tutoring

Strength & Leadership

March 2024 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As we embrace the vibrant spirit of Spring, we're excited to bring you uplifting news about our Navigating Education initiative and our dedicated efforts to bolster both our students and the broader Bremerton High School (BHS) community.

Navigating Education Project: Journeys from Challenges to Victories

It's with great pleasure that we report our Navigating Education initiative has led to notable advancements in our students' academic journeys. Once facing the daunting challenge of failing grades, several students have shown incredible resilience and determination, achieving significant grade improvements. Their success stands as a powerful testament to their grit and the steadfast support and guidance from our Education Navigators.

The transformation seen in these students not only uplifts them but serves as a beacon of inspiration for their peers, demonstrating the profound impact of collective success. Yet, our journey is far from over. As the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child," and we are committed to continuing this vital work.

Empowering the Federal Way School District

Our Navigating Education Team had the honor of providing translation services and emotional support to a student in need from the Federal Way School District. This support led to significant improvements in her academic performance and overall well-being. This experience highlighted the importance of providing holistic support to our youth and reinforced our commitment to fostering their growth and development.

A Tribute to Community Generosity and Joining Our Cause

We wouldn't have achieved what we have without the incredible generosity of our community. As we strive to uplift and empower our Pasefika (Pacific Islander) community, we would like to invite you to continue supporting us. Your support can come in various forms, such as volunteering, donating, or spreading the word about our cause. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, can truly make a positive impact. With your help, we can foster enduring change and create opportunities that will benefit future generations. Thank you for being a valued member of the VOPIN family. Your support allows us to serve our community with empathy and unwavering commitment.

With warmest regards,

The VOPIN Team

 Empowering Pacific Islander Youth: A Journey of Community Support and Resilience

Communities that foster strong social connections and support networks can give individuals a sense of belonging and validation. The community can play a crucial role in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness by promoting understanding, acceptance, and empathy. When individuals feel comfortable discussing their mental health openly without fear of judgment or discrimination, they are more likely to seek help when needed.

The Pacific Island (PI) community faces various challenges, including those related to mental health. However, the African proverb echoes profound wisdom: "It takes a village to raise a child." Recently, a middle school with the Federal Way School District contacted VOPIN, seeking help navigating a delicate situation involving a student's family with limited English proficiency.

The collaboration between the school psychologist, staff, and VOPIN's Navigating Education Team facilitated crucial conversations about addressing the student's social-emotional and behavioral concerns within a culturally responsive framework. Through consistent visits and compassionate guidance, the student, who was grappling with suicidal ideations and personal challenges, has shown remarkable progress.

This success story highlights the significant role of community support in nurturing and uplifting future leaders within the Pacific Islander community. It serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of culturally sensitive approaches when addressing mental health issues. Together, we can create a support network that equips Pacific Islander students and helps build a brighter and more resilient future.

 It Takes a Village to Raise a Child!

Community power can take many forms, but at its core, it refers to the collective strength, influence, and resources that a community possesses to address its needs, pursue its goals, and create positive change. One example of community power is volunteerism, which relies on individuals dedicating their time, skills, and resources to address local needs and contribute to the common good.

At VOPIN, our volunteers play a crucial role in our non-profit organization. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Darnell James-Gullette and SSG. Ali'ikai Manet Camacho Sablan (Teeki) for their unwavering commitment to our after-school programs. They have served as mentors and valuable guides to our youth, and their consistent presence embodies the essence of support and empowerment. Mr. James-Gullette works as a mechanical engineer at the Kitsap Naval Shipyard, and SSG. Sablan is an Army Recruiter at the Silverdale office.

As we witness the transformative power of collective effort, we invite you to join us in making a difference. Volunteer with VOPIN today and be part of a movement that empowers growth, resilience, and success within our community.


Congratulations to Lisa M. Concepcion-Elm: Extraordinary Educator 2024!

Congratulations to VOPIN Board Member Lisa M. Concepcion-Elm, our extraordinary educator! We're proud to announce that Lisa has been named an Extraordinary Educator for 2024 by Curriculum Associates. Her dedication to growth, innovation, and equity in education shines brightly. As a math specialist at the Bremerton School District and a board member of Voices of Pacific Island Nations, Lisa's impact extends far and wide. Let's celebrate her achievements and continued commitment to supporting Pacific Islander families and students on their educational journey. 

Unleash Your Inner Hero!

You can invest in a brighter future for our youth with a $10 monthly contribution. It's not just a donation but an investment in their dreams and aspirations!

Together, we'll supercharge our Navigating Education program, igniting a fire of purpose and optimism to guide our students toward a prosperous future! As we stand together for our Pasefika students, their voices unite in gratitude: 

Fa'afetai tele, Mahalo, Si Yu'os Ma'ase, Salamat, Malo-e-lelei, Kinisou, Kinisou chapur, Whakawhetai koe.

Thank you for your boundless generosity in making a monumental difference!

Embrace your inner hero and change lives today!

Be a Hero

Other ways to donate

Support Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN) with a tax-advantaged stock gift in minutes!

Reduce taxes* on capital gains while deducting the fair market value of gifted stock held more than one year.

Amplify your generosity with a pre-tax gift (let the nonprofit keep the proceeds that would have been paid in taxes)

It’s fast, safe, and free to donate stock through the most trusted name in stock gifting.

* Capital gains tax and NII tax rates range from 18.8% to 37.1%, depending on your income and locality. Donate through DonateStock

King County employees: Donate through the King County Employee Giving Program

Washington State employees: Donate through the Washington State Combined Drive