"Family" is central to the fabric of Pacific Islander communities. The natural description of a family unit has evolved with time and circumstances. A single parent or a teenager with a child is a family unit. Imagine a teenager with a child or with children, with a host of stressors, trying to navigate the multiple systems to obtain services for her family. Although there are limited data on PI teen pregnancy, it is undeniable that PI teenage pregnancy within the PI communities continues to rise. The most difficult for a teenage mother is raising her child in an already overcrowded household with multiple family members and relatives.
Family hardship and crisis within the PI community is another indicator and a direct link to our students' lack of academic achievement. Cultural dissimilarities are another under-observed challenge, are a significant barrier from most PI parents and families, which continue to widen the disparity gaps in academics and opportunities.
Providing the necessary adequate and culturally responsive services for our students and their families is VOPIN'S commitment to close the academic and opportunity disparity gaps.