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.