$20 raised by 1 donor
The Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN) is committed to inspiring Pasefika students and families by providing high quality, culturally responsive services and resources to address educational and opportunity inequities. We serve as a bridge to develop stronger relationships between students, families, schools, and the community.
Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2015 as a grassroots movement in response to the academic crisis facing Pacific Islander (PI) families. VOPIN began as a group of parents, grandparents, educators, youth, and community members with the shared vision of improving the educational outcomes and academic achievement of Pacific Islanders.
VOPIN ran solely on its Volunteers and Board of Director's commitment for the first five years. With the collaboration of our Board, Volunteers, Community Members, and our Technical Assistant, we developed the infrastructure necessary to proceed, including a Strategic Plan, Sustainability Plan, Need Assessments, and Policies and Procedures. Our strategic plan developed the following departments based on our Community Needs Assessment and community collaboration: Youth and Young Adults Services, Family Services, and Art and Culture.
The longstanding academic crisis has afflicted the PI community over decades. In 2018-19 academic year:
The academic crisis and disparities are exacerbated by poverty. In 2017, 15.4% of PI were at the poverty level, significantly higher than the 9.6% of Whites. Almost half of Washington's PI live below 200% percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). PI also has some of the highest rates of Working Poverty--people who work full-time but live below 200% of the FPL. PI students' homelessness rate is two to three times above the state average. Twenty-one percent (21%) of PI 10th graders report their families reduced or skipped meals due to food insecurity.
VOPIN believes that education is the key to escaping poverty. Therefore, our Youth and Young Adults Leadership program will encourage our children to achieve their very best. VOPIN has developed the concepts of "Student Research Practice (SRP) and Board of Directors Youth Membership" that will allow our youth/young adults to be responsible and develop as leaders. The SRP will enable youth/young adults to study independently and present their research on topics that impact their future--issues like climate change, education equity, youth mental health, and social-economic inequality.
The future of our community and preservation of our heritage and history will depend on our youth/young adults. Becoming a youth board member offers our youth/young adults leadership and executive capacity training. Youth board membership also allows our youth to understand our community's challenges and apply their leadership skills to affect change. Both youth member(s) and SRP participants will earn scholarships for their efforts.
VOPIN continues to support our youth by providing evidence-based, culturally-resonant programs: Academic Support provides tutoring and educational support; Youth Advocacy will increase positive youth development, leadership training, advocate for equity in education, and cultural ambassadors, and Tutoring and Mentorship will provide our youth with one-on-one or group social-emotional support, academic support, and supporting student activities such student clubs.
Family is central to the fabric of PI communities and a consistent influential factor in the educational trajectory of youth. Through Family and Community Engagement, provides relational support to help PI families navigate and connect with schools, provides families with resources and supports to navigate the school system, and encourages their children to value education and excel in school.
Our PI families experience an acculturation gap resulting in family members living in two different cultural worlds. Research indicates culture is a protective factor that reduces youth substance abuse, delinquent, violent behavior, and increase resilience and academic success. VOPIN's Arts & Culture program will utilized a comprehensive approach to increase student engagement through cultural identity. The A&C program will facilitate activities in school--PI arts & culture clubs and cultural events.
The mission and vision of VOPIN are only a dream without your donations and support. The data presented describe the severity and reality of the academic crisis and challenges facing our children and families. Your donation will sustain our programs and give our marginalized children and families hope!
Fa'afetai tele (Thank you) for making a difference in the lives of our PI children and families!