Third Annual Pacific Islander Youth Leadership Retreat June 1-4, 2006
This is the 3rd year that All Islanders Gathering As One (AIGA1) from San Francisco and our sister organizations from Southern California have united to hold a Retreat where Polynesian Youth can gather and address pertinent issues that affect them daily in their lives.
Last year we held the Retreat at Oxnard, California and this year we held it at South Lake Tahoe a setting the youth and the organizers put to very good use.
The Chaperones and Mentors that accompanied the youth all appreciate the fact that our Polynesian Youth need help and more to develop leadership values to lead the Polynesian Community and contribute to Society.
This is the 3rd time that the youth have taught me so many great lessons and may be it is because I listen to them and try to understand the turmoil of contemporary living. Our Polynesian youth have been stereotyped for too long and the time has come for Polynesian Youth to go to universities in greater numbers where they can muster the various degrees and hold their ground.
There is no doubt in my mind going back to my days in the Army that Polynesians make the best soldiers. There is no doubt in my mind that Polynesians can become professional football players. That is all good as my very good friend John Nauer in fond of saying but now let us perform well when it come to higher education and take the pride and the Polynesian culture to the highest level possible.
Here is San Francisco I have been working very hard to see that our Polynesian youth do not suffer because of lack of opportunities and good schooling. It has become a chronic scene to go to San Francisco Juvenile Department and find out that a greater majority incarcerated are Samoan youth. The world knows that Polynesians especially Samoans serve our Nation in the Armed Forces and a greater proportion die in the service of our Nation. Yet the United States of America has been slow as a Nation to appreciate that fact and provide services to save Polynesian youth through fine tuned services to save the youth and stop the stereotyping that many of them are prone to violence and other acts of crime.
At our Retreat we first try to imbibe in our Polynesian youth that they can empower themselves. The Chaperones and Mentors try their best to work in groups to understand our youth and shower them the love they need. There can be no love without sacrifice and so the more we work with our Polynesian youth we feel that understanding and compassion work wonders.
At this Retreat we had an African American youth, a Latino youth, Tongan youth, Samoan youth, and a youth from the Panama Canal area, in short a diverse group of youth that took part in one of kind workshops.
I must congratulate the Mentors for doing a wonderful job. The Chaperones and Mentors helped drive the youth from San Francisco and other youth from Southern California. We even took the male youth to San Quentin so that they could witness reality.
We plan to have this unique Retreat next year and out do the excellent results we had this year. Next year the youth will help plan the agenda and lay the ground rules linked to the workshops and other pertinent aspects that they feel will empower them.
My sincere thanks to the youth, the Chaperones, the Mentors for giving me an opportunity to be part of this one of kind Retreat. I want to thank our sponsors and benefactors who helped us last year and this year. We would not be able to accomplish our goals without your help and good wishes.
I have posted some photographs enjoy them and remember good leaders know the way, show the way, and go the way. Also there can be no genuine love without sacrifice.
The Boys and Girls showing off.
Lots of Talofa.
Check this out.
A happy camper.
John Nauer keeping it real.
Natasha doing what she does best.
The girls at the Cultural Session.
The Boys from Southern California.
The boys performing.