Keala means “the way” in Hawaiian.
Hawaii is known for its magnanimous ridgelines, picturesque waters and white sand resorts. But what most visitors don’t know is that Hawaii is host to one of the most dangerous drug and suicide epidemics in the nation. With the highest rate of methamphetamine use and lowest level of resources, today’s culture in Hawaii is a recipe for community devastation. But there is hope.
On the south side of Kauai are the headquarters for the Keala Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that serves youth through community enrichment programs, character-based learning curriculum, rehabilitation and physical education. In four major hubs across the island, youth and their families gather to learn the kind of life lessons that will break them away from the cultural norm and show them the way to freedom in sobriety.
The Keala Foundation was founded by Aaron Hoff, a Kauai native that lost 10 years of his life to drug and alcohol abuse. After becoming sober, he determined to dedicate his life to providing youth in Hawaii with an opportunity for a healthier lifestyle and started a gym for kids. The Keala Foundation was formally established as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2016 and has remained faithfully committed to Aaron’s vision from the very beginning – to create a free and safe community for kids where they can be held accountable, feel a sense of belonging and know that they are loved.
You won’t find many communities in the world that are synonymous with what you’ll find through the Keala Foundation in Kauai. Parents, teachers, coaches, church leaders, former-addicts, recovering addicts, police officers, locals, visitors and entrepreneurs all come together in a powerful way to serve the youth and ensure that they have a rich, life-giving environment to develop in. If you go to the island to visit Aaron Hoff and the Keala crew, you’re sure to have a built-in community of love and friendship.
The Keala Curriculum (KC) is paving “the way” for other communities to model the Aloha spirit, too.
The KC is a character-based model for physical, emotional and cognitive development in youth. With a vision to help turn the tides of any communities at risk of losing hope for the next generation, this curriculum encapsulates the core values of how the Keala Foundation engages with youth… anywhere. Through physical exercise, messaging, benchmark setting and program support, KC affiliates impact their communities with a proven model.
Offered in the SugarWOD marketplace, this means that youth leaders from anywhere in the world can access exactly the materials used everyday by Keala Coaches on Kauai and receive mentorship and support through the process.
Learn more and sign up as a Keala Affiliate at www.kealafoundation.com/kealacurriculum.