Mililani Teen Among Ten Young Leaders to Receive Prestigious Award

Kyle Monette in February
Kyle Monette in February

WASHINGTON D.C. (KHNL) - A 17-year-old Mililani teen is among ten young leaders nationwide to receive the prestigious Yoshiyama Award for exemplary service to the community.

Kyle Monette and nine other recipients were recognized as authentic leaders, untainted, determined and savvy about changing society for the better.

Recognizing the higher incidence rates of diabetes among Asian Pacific Islanders, Monette created Kids Helping Kids with Diabetes in 2004 to educate his peers, their parents and community members about the health risks of juvenile diabetes.

He recruited 150 middle and high school students to support his program, training volunteers in fundraising, education, support services, and legislation. Kyle met with school health officials and discovered that many children had limited protection during hypoglycemic episodes; he rallied students across the state to create carbohydrate stations in school health rooms. To secure funds for additional diabetes research, Kyle spearheaded efforts for House Bill 2074, which would provide a check off box on state income tax forms allowing taxpayers to donate to childhood diseases, including diabetes. Kyle also created the Shoes in Chute race which raised an additional $15,000 racing rubber toy sneakers down a water slide.

"Kyle and the nine other recipients of the Yoshiyama Award show us that 'real' leadership, the kind of leadership that requires sacrifice for the good of people we don't even know, is abundant in this country," said Barbara Dyer, President and CEO of the Foundation. "It's just that sometimes we find it where we might not naturally look - in this case, among young men and women, like Kyle, still in their teens."

Recipients of this prestigious award will participate in a leadership retreat and be honored at a luncheon to take place at the National Press Club on October 16. Each awardee will also receive a $5,000 gift.