Our programs and services are designed to achieve multiple objectives based on data. For decades, Pacific Islander (PI) students have struggled academically. The Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN) mission is to close the academic and opportunity gaps for PI students, and their struggles are more than just academic achievement. According to the OSPI, 68% of PI students qualified for "free and reduced" lunch, and 8% are homeless relative to their student total enrollment of (1%) one percent. The Seattle Public Schools reported that 44% of PI students are not living with both parents. Studies have suggested that there is a direct correlation between poverty and low academic achievements.
The constant global change of our environment has severely impacted Pacific Island Nations and their habitats. The scientific evidence revealed that most of the Pacific Region would be uninhabited in one to two decades. Currently, residents of several island nations have become "climate change refugees" and have been evacuated and displaced from their nature and dispersed to different parts of the world for a new environment. However, most of them find it difficult to acclimate to their new environment due to cultural dissimilarities, especially language barriers, which creates a disconnect between parents/families and schools. Our PI students and their families' struggles will linger year after year if they do not have the proper resources to be successful. It is difficult to focus on one cause of a bigger problem without considering the whole social and economic environments of our students and their families.
The VOPIN is committed to providing culturally responsive programs and services, building stronger relationships, and being the bridge between our schools, students, families, and communities.