When young children first pick up a skateboard and head with their family to the skate park, the challenge begins to provide them with good role models and encourage safe behavior. Andrew’s program has encouraged parental participation, community sponsorship, donations and volunteerism. The program encourages partnerships between the children and the Maui County Department of Parks & Recreation and encourages student volunteerism, skate park advocacy and even encourages the youth to testify before the mayor and County Council on related issues.
This program was a direct outgrowth of requests made to Andrew by the parks’ administration. This partnership molded a program that has served the skateboard community countywide since 2008. Andrew has received the support of parks administrators Tamara Horcajo, John Buck, Floyd Mizazono, and Zack Helm. Mr. Buck, currently working with the Mayor’s Office, even recommended this program for a national award.
When Andrew began this program, the Kalama Park Skate Park was an “open today- closed tomorrow” operation. Prior to his mentorship homeless and skate park users were sleeping in the park overnight. We had severe vandalism, underage drinking problems, prostitution, and drug activity centered at this facility. Through Andrew’s work with the Kalama Park Action Team and the Parks Department, many in the community came together to work on solutions to these problems.