The Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN) mission addresses educational and opportunity inequities for our Pacific Islander (PI) students and families. Our programs and services are designed to achieve multiple objectives based on data. For decades, PI students have struggled academically, and the impact of poverty has foiled their academic progress. Studies have suggested a direct correlation between poverty and low academic achievements. 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. These challenges are difficult to address without public and private interventions.
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 sense of shame of being stereotyped. Our PI students' and families' struggles will linger year after year if they do not have and provide the proper resources to succeed. It is difficult to focus on one cause of a bigger problem without considering our students' and their family's whole social and economic environments.
The VOPIN is committed to providing culturally responsive programs and services, building stronger relationships, and being the bridge between our students, schools, families, and the community.