Dear MCBL Ohana,
On behalf of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership and YWCA O‘ahu, I extend my warmest wishes and appreciation to you as we celebrate another year of change and growth. It is only through your dedication, generosity and talent that we continue to uplift women and girls in our community by providing them with entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities.
In June, we celebrated the graduation of our second cohort of the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance. Twenty-one women completed a 10-month long journey of personal and professional growth consisting of 18 training sessions. Moreover, our network of Mink Leaders continues to do amazing work in the community, which includes encouraging other women to become leaders. These efforts have enabled us to continue the program as we welcomed a third cohort in August.
We also believe in investing in our youth as they are our future leaders. With this mindset, we expanded our Girls’ Summit program to include a component geared toward girls in middle school. Our Girls’ Summit Youth pilot program launched in July with 9 participants and focused on sense of self and place, inner power, and creativity. We continue to offer our one-day Girls’ Summit program for high school girls and were pleased to hold our first one on Kauai in November through the generous support of Hawaii Pacific Health and Wilcox Medical Center.
Additionally, our team remains committed to helping women achieve their dreams and goals of starting and growing their own businesses. This year, we began offering two sections of our signature Launch My Business™ program – LMB Start for those in the idea phase and LMB Grow for those with an existing business. We offered three Start classes and graduated our 13th LMB Grow cohort. Furthermore, we worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration and our fellow partners to promote the Shop Small Hawaii campaign with four events that encouraged consumers to support local small businesses during the holiday season and throughout the year.
Thank you for helping us to achieve these goals and milestones. I look forward to another fun and exciting year.
Mahalo, Terri Funakoshi