Hawaii’s Enrichment & Education Professionals
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Christine Gorris, Employed since 2001
When I got into the childcare field I was supposed to just stay and work until my children graduated Preschool. I really did not expect to stay in this field for 20 years. But I have to say I have learned and grown in this field. The thing about teaching young children is surely not for the paycheck, but how we as teachers impact the child to learn new things and how the light bulb turns on in the child's learning stages. And the best part is when the parents tell you how much their child has learned and that is what makes all the work you put in so fulfilling.
Charlene Meyers, Employed since 1988
William Arthur Ward stated: “Opportunities are like sunrises, if you wait too long you miss them.”
My name is Charlene Puanani Meyers. Growing up, I had different opportunities from going into the Army, being an airline stewardess, or being a secretary for a company. Those opportunities were great, but I knew what I truly wanted to do was to work with children. One day, I went to the employment office and talked to an employer named Kevin. I didn’t tell him what field I wanted but keep it in my heart. Kevin said, they are taking applications at Hawaii Child Center downtown. He gave me the address and phone number. I went to that place and applied and was interviewed by Alice Kemper, that same day I was hired. I placed my 2 weeks noticed at my other job, it worked out wonderfully. And since that day I have worked for Kama’aina Kids for 33 years. As my father quoted: “Always give your very best in what you do.” I always kept that in my life! As I thought to myself and the children I worked with, it has been a beautiful blessing knowing you’ve given all your best in the lives of children. A newspaper clipping stated, “Every sunrise starts a journey.”
Randy Miyashiro, Employed since 2000
I was first hired by Kama`aina Kids to work as a camp counselor in the summer of 2000. I was unsure and hesitant since it was my first time working with youth in a professional setting, but the organization provided the necessary training and support to set the foundation needed for the summer. From there, I was fortunate to transition into an Afterschool Group Leader position in one of our programs and became a Site Coordinator in 2002. Over the years, other job opportunities arose in the various divisions throughout the company, and it afforded me the privilege of working with and learning from some of the most impactful people in my life.
When I began this journey 21 years ago, I never would have imagined that I’d sit here today, a Vice President for Kama`aina Kids. I initially applied for a job with this organization because I hoped to gain experience in preparation for a career in teaching or guidance counseling, yet I found so much more! Making a positive impact on a child’s life has always been a passion of mine and as luck would have it, I found my calling in an organization that is innovative, caring, and full of fun, creative people. Kama`aina Kids is truly a place where “Every day is an adventure!”