We began in the Spring of 2016 with an idea and some conversations. The idea belonged to Susan Davis, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist listening to stories from her patients, her husband's boat crew, and her stepdaughter. It was a simple one: maybe high school kids would be helped, if they want to go to college, by a one-to-one relationship with a mentor who could advise and encourage them and their families.
The conversations began with Alan Akana, a friend and pastor of the Koloa Union Church. Alan's family can trace itself six generations back to the Big Island--he is the first in his family to go to college...and then graduate school! Then, she spoke to her Hula Kumu, Leina'ala Pavao Jardin, of Ka Lei Mokihana o' Leina'ala. Born and raised on Kaua'i and watching two decades of children grow up through her halau--who better to know what might be needed on Kaua'i? Both received the idea with tremendous enthusiasm and their personal support.
Over the next few months, the conversations grew into joyful collaborations with volunteers interested in supporting The Bridge: Kaua'i to College with their time, money, and talent. Relying primarily on our island's highly efficient coconut wireless, we soon had four mentoring pairs and our first graduating senior!
In May of 2017, we became a stand-alone 501c3 nonprofit registered in the State of Hawaii.