As a follow-up to my last post, I mentioned that we would organize an opportunity to help encourage and motivate our young people. It was important for us to share a message of pursuing dreams and utilizing their talents to fulfill their goals. Our young people are very talented and it is important for them to realize that they can succeed despite the challenges they face in today's world.
When discussing how we might be able to do this, the ideas quickly became many and the positive energy made it very exciting. Unfortunately the resources it would take in order to be effective quickly began to add up and the realization of what we could do compared to what we wanted to do became two very different things. Returning back to reality, it was agreed that the only way for us to be effective was to begin on the street level. What I mean by that is we would need to begin small; a grass roots effort.
For our first go we decided that it would only be appropriate to begin in our home; Oakland, CA. As Oaklanders and Tongan, we tracked down a list of the Tongan students who were graduating from high school. The count totaled 25 students. It was a manageable number and with the time we had, we needed to pull something together very quickly. We would give each student a little swag bag that included a limited edition IKUNA tee, a personalized letter expressing our appreciation and recognition for their accomplishment, and a couple of other things. 'I AM IKUNA' would become the name for this effort. It has a nice ring to it. It just might stick.
Delivering the bags would be a logistical challenge. However, we were able to deliver the majority of them and share with each student our vision and the meaning behind our visit. For some we had the opportunity to visit in their homes with their parents. It was encouraging and inspiring to hear of the plans that each of them have. The love and appreciation that was shown by all was positive and confirmed what we thought all along...we could make an impact one person at a time.
Please take some time to read the names above. If you know them or see them around town, congratulate them on a job well done and encourage them. Go to our I AM IKUNA page and Facebook to see who they are and learn more about them. Our hopes and dreams need nourishment and confirmation. We look forward to expanding our efforts and meeting many more of you who are driven and motivated to do good.
Overcome. Achieve. Victory. IKUNA.