Forever Young profile: Mary Matayoshi

Mary Matayoshi
Mary Matayoshi

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The inaugural Honolulu Forever Young awards honors leaders in our community who live their lives to the fullest while making great contributions to the community.

One of those leaders is Mary Matayoshi who started the Volunteer Resource Center in 2002 and dedicates her life to the cause.

"I just fell in love with the whole idea of service and I learned so much and it changed my whole life."said Matayoshi.

With endless energy, Mary Matayoshi has devoted her life to community service.

"I think volunteerism touches every phase of your life, your church, your family, friends, amongst strangers, the homeless," she said.

Her interest in community building began at the Peace Corps training center in Hilo.

As a teacher at the University of Hawaii at Hilo for 15 years, she started summer school programs for children because she believes volunteerism involves all age groups.

"One person at a time, if you do something for another person, that will eventually catch on and that person will go and do something for another, and eventually that will spread all over the world," Matayoshi said.

In 2002, Mary founded the Volunteer Resource Center of Hawaii.

"It was following my 8 years with Governor Cayetano at his State Volunteer Service Office."

"I thought that if we split off an education arm of volunteer management that would suit me fine because that's my bag," said the forever young Matayoshi.

She works tirelessly to educate and train volunteer leaders and continues to impact Hawaii's communities.

"I really enjoy my work, but that's been the story of my life I really enjoyed everything I've done," said the active senior.

"I always tell people when you retire rest a while, and really consider what is going to be most meaningful in life because you know volunteering goes on, we have people who are in their 90's volunteering," she said.

Matayoshi also works on spreading the volunteering bug internationally.

"We are all in serious trouble in all of our countries if we don't tend to some of our social problems," she said.

She believes that citizens enhance the work thats already being done in communities.

At the end of this year Mary Matayoshi will retire again, this time to spend more time with her family.