He maiʻa ke kanaka a ka lā e hua ai

Why Purple Maiʻa? | Our History | Team | Sponsors 

 

 

 

Why Purple Maiʻa?

 

Maiʻa means banana ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, and references the purple flower of the banana tree. Purple is the rarest color in nature, reminding us to seek out the “purple-ness” in our haumāna–the things that make each student rare and unique. 

OUR HISTORY

PURPLE MAIʻA WAS FOUNDED

 By Olin Lagon, Donavan Kealoha, and Kelsey Amos in 2013. At that time the idea was simple: start a nonprofit that teaches Hawaiian kids how to code. But we quickly realized that our hopes for our keiki and our ambitions for Hawaiʻi’s people were much bigger than just coding.

We wanted to give ʻōpio the skills, mindsets, and mālama that they need to not only succeed personally but to solve problems for their communities in the 21st century. And we wanted to fundamentally change the perception that there is anything contradictory or unusual about Kanaka Maoli and other people of Hawaiʻi being excellent in areas like technology and entrepreneurship.

YOU HAVE TO START SMALL, FAIL FAST AND KEEP MOVING.

So we started with one after school tech class at Kūlia All Stars. The next year we had classes at three locations. The next year it was too many to keep track of. And along the way we started projects that intervene for different age levels and in different subject matter.

Purple Maiʻa has grown and keeps evolving with every new team member, idea, and experience. But the mission remains the same: to inspire and educate the next generation of culturally grounded, community serving technology makers and problem solvers.

HUI ʻOHANA

Mike Sarmiento

Kula Director

Dan Kinzer

Kumu

Megan Nepshinsky

Kumu

Manu Mei-Singh

Kaikaina, Program Director

Kelsey Amos

Co-Founder, Director

Jacqueline Kroupa

Kumu

Donovan Kealoha

Co-Founder, Executive Director

Kiane Kanaha

Kumu

Victor Lee

Hiapo, Program Director

Shannon Edie

Board Director

Naomi Yoshida

Marketing Manager

Jackson Solomon

Program Assistant

Alec Wagner

Purple Prize, Program Director

Kahealani Lono

Kumu

Ashlynn Miyashiro

Designer

Kamuela Enos

Board Member

Joe Baranowski

Kumu

Olin Lagon

Co-Founder, Advisor

Keahi Selhorst

Hiapo, Program Director

David Pickett

Kumu

Blaine Kahoʻonei

Board Member

Elena Farden

Board Member

Forest Frizzell

Board Member

The “we may not see you as often, but still ʻohana” hui

Kalei Akau

Documentarian, Purple Prize

Nate Nahina

Kumu

Louis-John Romero

Intern

Bill Evangelista

Kumu

Martha Evans

Ex-Officio Board Member

Nāpali Souza

Ex-Officio Board Member

Marion Ano

Kumu

Kelela Moo

Kumu

Albert Yee

Intern

Levi Hoʻokanuo

Ex-Officio Board Member

Mahalo to our supporters and partners

We mahalo nui to all of the generous and supportive organizations and
individuals who make it possible for Purple Mai’a to do its work.

Atherton Family Foundation

Kamehameha Schools

NaKupuna Foundation

Boys & Girls Club of Hawaiʻi

Parents and Children Together

Harold K.L Castle Foundation

Island Insurance Companies

Hawaiʻi Community Foundation

Best Buy

Environmental Protection Agency

Cooke Foundation, Limited

Friends of Hawaiʻi Charities, Inc.