HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In an old gymnasium in Kunia Village, a non-profit group uses sports to engage and encourage low-income youth.
The organization is called Hapa Mana.
“Hapa Mana is a sports organization that acts more as a community outreach group,” said Jordan Conley, who co-founded the non-profit with his life partner, Clara Jones.
Conley grew up playing all kinds of sports.
In its three years Hapa Mana has reached more than 100 children and teens in Kunia Village, and dozens more at the Institute for Human Services and Kahauiki Village.
"We come to where there's low-income kids. We go to IHS where there's homeless kids. We just take it to them," Conley said.
Hapa Mana's free afternoon sports programs and weekend camps offer youth a variety of sports to explore from individual sports like tennis to team sports like basketball.
The goals are to give youth positive outlets, and exercise their bodies and minds.
"We really feel that kids deserve the opportunities. They don't choose their circumstances," Jones said. "We want to make sure that all kids get the same kinds of opportunities to learn and grow."
Hapa Mana also integrates education and professional development into its program, and it partners with other organizations.
“We would like to expand to where we can make this an in-school program or after-school program. Everybody has a skill, has a talent. We want to help them find that,” Conley said.
Finding funding is the challenge. Conley hopes to raise money through grants. And Hapa Mana has joined State Farm Insurance’s “Quotes for Good” program.
For every auto insurance quote issued by Hawaii agent Derek Sayegusa, Hapa Mana will get $5. Sayegusa can be reached at (808) 988-8808.
To learn more about Hapa Mana go to HapaMana.org.