March Newsletter


I’m spending a lot of time at the State Capitol Building lately and I’m happy to say that it seems like a welcoming place. Other state capitols that I’ve visited are much more intimidating with their vast expanses of marble, metal detectors at every entrance, and security everywhere. I wouldn’t dare walk through one of those buildings in my rubber slippers and shorts.

In contrast, I’ve never gone through a metal detector at our capitol. The open hallways around the central rotunda invite people to lean on the railings to people watch and talk story. I love the fairs that are held during session – especially the Farm Bureau with handouts of local produce. And the legislators running the hearings actually welcome testimony from all of us.

Only in Hawaii can you run into your legislator’s office on opening day for handouts of manapua, cookies, or Mom’s Portuguese bean soup. Only in Hawaii do we have a Public Access Room whose only purpose is to help citizens like us participate in the legislative process.

Do you care about after school programs for middle school youth? Do you have an opinion on how public schools should address bullying and violence? Perhaps you want to reduce homelessness, prevent tobacco use, or preserve our precious watershed. Our legislators need to hear from you – and the youth and families with whom you work.

Important decisions are being made in those hearing rooms at the Capitol and I encourage you to take part in it. The decisions made there will affect your life and you have the power to affect those decisions.

Hope to see you at the Capitol!



A film by Anne de Mare & Kirsten Kelly
Screening and Discussion

Tuesday, March 3, 6 pm
The ARTS at Marks Garage
1159 Nuuanu Ave.

Three homeless teens brave Chicago winters, high school pressures, and life on the streets to build a brighter future.

Against all odds, they recover from a life of abandonment to create new, surprising definitions of home.

They will challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness; their stories connect with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights.

Respondent: Victoria Cuba

Waipahu High School graduate, Victoria Cuba, courageously spoke openly about being homeless for her school's student news spot on PBS Hawaii's Hiki No program. This led to her being a guest with CEO Leslie Wilcox on the station's weekly broadcast, Long Story Short.

Sponsored By: Hawai’i Women in Filmmaking, Hawai’i People’s Fund with support form PBS-Hawaii.


Leeward Community College invites you to participate in the 2015 Career, College & Job Fair, held on April 8, 2015 from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm on the Leeward Community College Campus.

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY! Space is limited. Email if you have any questions.

Visit and follow the step by step instructions in the attachment, "2015 Career, College & Job Fair invitation."



Thursday, March 12

PreventConnect is pleased to announce the first in the 2015 series of web conferences, Making Connections, Honoring Communities. Our partners, Prevention Institute, and invited guests speakers will join us to talk about linking sexual and domestic violence prevention efforts to related efforts and movements, as well as strategies for creating healthy, thriving communities. Get ready for exciting discussions and concrete examples and tools to assist in your efforts to prevent sexual and domestic violence! register now for the first web conference on popular education strategies with our partners, National Sexual Violence Resource Center.



HYSN is tracking and providing testimony on the following bills. Additional information and public testimony submitted can be found at:

SB269 SD1Relating to Public Order
SB492 SD1Relating to Children
SB 909Relating to Sex Trafficiking
SB 979 SD1Relating to Youth
HB 595Relating to Health
HB 451, HD1Relating to Affirmative Consent
HB 597Relating to Sexual Assault
HB406Relating to Controversial Public School Curriculum
SB387 SD1Relating to Affirmative Consent
SB 1014Relating to the Houseless Bill of Rights
SB 913Relating to Public Safety
HB 397 HD 2Relating to Afterschool Programs
SB1128Relating to After School Programs
HB 1435Relating to Project Kealahou
SB 1367Relating to Project Kealahou
SB 977 SD1Relating to the Department of Education
SB 841 SD 1Relating to School Health
HB 819 HD 1Relating to Bullying
SB 273 SD 1Relating to Identification Cards
SCR 13Requesting the Interagency Council on Homelessness to Convene a Working Group to Determine the Best Practices for Collecting, Storing, and Sharing Data on Homeless Youth


I am Rachel Ferguson—the most recent addition to the fantastic team at Hawaii Youth Services Network. Bullying Prevention is my domain, and Bullying Prevention Coordinator is my name. I am a recent MSW graduate from Hawaii Pacific University, who left the east coast to come to Oahu for graduate school and consequentially decided to extend my stay. I come to you most recently from Mental Health of America of Hawai’i (MHA-H) where I started as an intern and evolved into a staff member, working closely with Antonia Alvarez on their Youth Suicide and Bullying Prevention program as well as their Training for Trainers program.

Bullying is an expansive form of torment that can include physical, verbal, sexual, and psychological aspects. Bullying crosses all barriers and varies in its deliverance, including everything from cyberbullying to intentional exclusion. My goal as Bullying Prevention Coordinator is to help fight bullying by delivering trainings within the Department of Parks and Recreation, thereby increasing the employees’ knowledge of bullying and how to identify and stop it. I am delighted to be a part of HYSN and I look forward to conducting impactful work!