Operation Leadership is a Hawaiʻi-based organization, founded (during the 2018-2019 school year) and led by Kaelah, Katie, and Joey.
Kaelah is a current 11th grade student from Oʻahu. In her free time, she enjoys surfing and dancing ballet, and she is passionate about environmental advocacy.
Katie is a current junior in high school from Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu. Outside of school, she loves to play music, practice martial arts, and spend quality time with friends and family. Katie is passionate about providing youth with the tools they need to make change.
Joey is an 11th grade student originally from Kailua, Oʻahu. She loves to swim, play Hawaiian music, and participate in Hawaiian voyaging. Joey is passionate about intersectional environmental justice.
MISSION & IMPACT
For years, there has been a lack of accessible, cost-free environmental leadership education for youth on O'ahu, particularly for those from under-resourced communities. Operation Leadership provides free access to leadership workshops for fourth through sixth graders, with the goal of educating Oʻahu’s youth about current environmental issues and giving them the tools they need to become globally-minded, passionate leaders in society. Our curriculum, written for kids by kids, was specifically designed to accomplish this mission and foster creativity, passion, and leadership within each student.
Thus far, we have been able to offer our program to over 140 students in the community. Through the various engaging activities and discussions students participate in during the program, we have seen a dramatic improvement in students' leadership abilities and their confidence in those abilities (proven by survey data collected from the students). They also are more well-informed about environmental issues, particularly about those affecting Hawai'i, and are equipped to lead initiatives in their community in order to make a positive impact.
Our program aims to instill these four qualities within each individual we work with, as we believe that these skills are vital to becoming an effective leader.
We believe that collaboration is key to leadership, as it allows individuals to gain new perspectives and to be challenged to think in different ways.
Communication is another vital skill for leadership, because it ensures that one is able to work with a team and share one's ideas.
Empathy is necessary to build strong leaders, as it allows individuals to have compassion for the world around them and be motivated to make change.
Critical thinking is necessary to come up with solutions to real-world problems, such as current environmental issues.
Benefits of starting a chapter:
• Earn volunteer hours
• Make a positive impact on your community
• Help to expand access to environmental leadership education for youth
• Stand out as a self-starter and leader
• Gain access to environmental and educational experts through Operation Leadership events and resources
• Gain experience with planning and executing community events