GSA Hawaii

GSAs experiences within schools are important as they have lasting consequences, such as higher grade point averages, to the pursuit of higher education, career choice, and lifelong interpersonal skill development. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Awesome Foundation Oahu is delighted to announce that GSA Hawaii is our July winner!  Melanie Moore submitted the grant proposal.

GSA Hawaii is a project of the Life Foundation. Started in 2011, GSA Hawaii works to develop and sustain gay-straight alliances in Hawaii's schools. According to Melanie, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) youth are at particular risk of experiencing hostility and harassment within our school systems. She further noted that 50% of LGBT youth do not feel safe at school, and 82% report harassment. When LGBT youth ‘come out,’ 1/3 risk being rejected. Melanie explained that LGBT youth experience homelessness , harsher penalties in our justice systems , suicide, and mental disorders at a much higher rate than heterosexual counterparts.

We were delighted to hear that GSA clubs on campus are an immense help to this serious problem, LGBT students report less discrimination and bullying in schools with GSAs, and campuses with these clubs foster a more accepting environment for all students. GSAs experiences within schools are important as they have lasting consequences, such as higher grade point averages, to the pursuit of higher education, career choice, and lifelong interpersonal skill development.

GSA Hawaii recently hosted its 2nd annual Gay Prom, which surveyed 325 students from 43 schools on Oahu. Findings show students feeling safest within their GSAs – which promote safer learning environments for everyone.

One of the biggest challenges GSAs report in sustaining their club is really a simple one - food and supplies. Most of our GSAs meet during the lunch hour, so being able to offer pizza for students attending is a huge incentive for both new and existing members. Supplies for activities and outings are also key. Currently, almost all of our GSAs have no source of funding for their clubs other than GSA Hawaii's adoption program. For just $500 per year, anyone can adopt one of the GSAs in GSA Hawaii's network. 100% of the money is for the GSA to spend on food, supplies and outings for their club.

Awesome Foundation Oahu is proud to provide $1,000 that will foster two GSA clubs in two different schools!  We were impressed to hear that the kids in the club will help determine how the funds should be spent to keep the clubs active.  Congratulations GSA!!!



Back Row: 

Michael Paeste : Kapolei

Charmer Santos: Honolulu

Jackie Pang: Waipahu

Alex San Nicolas: Honolulu

Donna Ambrose: Kailua (Awesome Oahu Volunteer)

Juliette Paige: Honolulu

Rey Allen Hidalgo: Waipahu

Tricia Manzano : Honolulu


First Row:

Jo Chang: Honolulu

Calvin Marquez : Honolulu

Jaimi Coloma: Honolulu

Kyle Mckinney: Pearl City

Mejelyne Simon: Honolulu

Tammy Ganiko : pearl City

Tracey Stott Kelley : Kailua (Awesome Oahu Trustee)

AJ Alcover: Honolulu

Kayla Tamura: Honolulu

Austyn Lee: Honolulu

Alison Colby: Honolulu

Shayna Lono Alexander: Pearl City