The News Site of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama

Ka Mō'ī

  • Dec 7, 12:00 am
The News Site of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama

Ka Mō'ī

The News Site of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama

Ka Mō'ī

Mana Wahine Unite! 

President Mikala Akiona and Co-Vice President Chloe Martin-Blevins next to the Women’s Empowerment Club booth at this year’s Club Fair.

The women in our lives, whether our mothers, grandmothers, or even ourselves were born bearing the destiny to be something extraordinary. They are capable, authoritative, and independent. Such women are entitled to the resources and support system necessary for them to grow up healthy, safe and empowered to decide the course of their lives and futures. Kamehameha School’s Women’s Empowerment Club preaches and survives by these upheld visions.  

The Women’s Empowerment Club arose during the peak of the pandemic. Emi Shigekane, an ambitious and determined young leader of the Class of 2023, pioneered this group with her sights set on the improvements she could make in her school and a desire to help young women succeed. Woven into its agenda has been the club’s fundamental ideals: advocacy, support, and empowerment. This club does not settle for the bare minimum; its net is cast far and it is cast wider and in a different direction each time a new goal comes along. During their high school career, Emi, along with her fellow executive leaders, prioritized community service, legislative activities, and educational conservations. Women’s Empowerment is designed to act as a vehicle of positive change within the school and community. In terms of volunteer work, Women’s Empowerment frequently partnered with organizations who share the same vision, such as Ma’i Movement, which is committed to ending period poverty in Hawai’i. During a single IMUA Block last year, the club successfully packed a hundred Maʻi Movement menstrual kits, packages containing feminine products that are distributed to menstruators in need across the island. The impact this club has had on the Kamehameha’s wahine is equally noteworthy. Following the club’s relentless efforts in promoting access to sanitary products, the club ushered in administration’s installment of menstrual hygiene bins in all female restrooms across the high school campus!

Their success does not go unnoticed. “Meaningful change for the community is something I hadn’t really seen from a student perspective,” Junior Amber Kauinui recounts, “So, it was inspiring to see the passion the Board of ʻ23 put into everything they did. From the Career Fair and Clothing Drive… I was incredibly lucky to be a part of it all.”

A new school year means new leadership, goals, and agenda! Nearly every Tuesday in Konia 111 is where the magic happens. The club’s activities and events are not done arbitrarily. Each month has an objective. Furthermore, each month will have a theme. November, for example, will be devoted to the “Meaningful Women in Our Lives.” Every activity for the month will be centered around this theme. Students can expect at least one informational and discussion day is planned, in which club members are introduced to the topic. Following this is at least one activity day that correlates with the theme. Joining Women’s Empowerment is more than simply joining a club; it is receiving access to a number of useful resources and information that will help individuals succeed. With that being said, Women’s Empowerment’s notorious Career Fair will be making a return this school year. Currently, the club is under new leadership. Senior and President Mikala Akiona aims to build on the initiatives the club has done in the past, and expand the reach of the club even more. An aspiration of the club is to extend the hygiene bins to KS lower campuses as well as other schools.

Looking ahead, Women’s Empowerment is already tackling their community outreach goals and was invited to the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Annual Convention. During this week-long convention at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, club members will glean knowledge from various civic clubs and learn about the forthcoming legislative session, including upcoming bills, pressing issues, and debates. The group of students are eager to demonstrate what they will have learned into practice in January, when the legislative session begins. 

Women’s Empowerment aspires to become an ʻohana that the high school community can turn to by cultivating a bond like no other. Co-Vice President Kaimana Kon shares, “Personally, my favorite memories while in this club were the light-hearted workshops we had with friends, doing trivia games, decorating cookies, learning about health and wellness, and preparing each other for success!” Empowerment can take many forms: social, intellectual, emotional, educational and so on. Women’s Empowerment strives to empower in each of these ways as it will bridge the gaps in our lāhui. Only then can there be true change and progress. 


For those interested in joining the Women’s Empowerment Club:
Contact President Mikala at [email protected].
Weekly updates are also shared on their Instagram account: @ks_womensempowerment. 

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About the Contributor
Mikala Akiona
Mikala Akiona, Reporter
Aloha! My name is Mikala Akiona. Despite being a Senior, I am so excited to end my high school journey by being a part of this year's Ka Mōʻī Staff. Always having a fondness for writing and journalism, I cannot imagine a better place than Ka Mōʻī to embrace my passions. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, binge-watching movies, playing piano (I dabble), scrapbooking, and journaling. If I am not doing any of those, one could find me sightseeing or taking in the amazing landscapes our state has to offer. My admiration for nature goes hand in hand with my love for traveling, especially to National Parks! Over the past four years, I found a sense of community & cooperation within the high school clubs I'm involved in, including the Women's Empowerment Club, in which I am the President! My post-secondary goals consist of attending college and majoring in political science and/or law. This newspaper is an excellent space to embrace the unique stories in our lives and ignite the power that lives within our voices. I hope everyone reading will come to see this too! I can't wait to provide the Kamehameha community with authentic narratives during my last year on the hill!  
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