'A'ohe pu'u ki'eki'e ke ho'āʻo 'ia e pi'i

No cliff is so tall that it cannot be climbed

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by local business and community leaders seeking to leverage our expertise, resources, and experiences to support our community.

What We Do

We give people a chance. Through educational, housing, and health programs, we create opportunities for those who lack the resources or skills to live up to their full potential. The expertise, resources, and experiences within our community help us approach our work through the lens of Hawaiian culture.

Our mission is to create opportunities for vulnerable, or moderate and low-income families, children and elderly by providing educational and cultural services, programs and support.

Hawaii Rise Foundation Group

Who We Are

We are people who listen. We are local professionals and community leaders who joined together to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that addresses the specific issues in our community by listening to local needs and by maintaining long-term relationships, both within the community and with our outside allies.  

A 2018 report from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii describes the need for organizations like ours:

In communities deemed to be “disadvantaged,” outside organizations are often driving efforts to help “fix” them. From the perspective of communities, these efforts can provide much needed resources, but they can also be the source of great frustration as programs come and go. Help often comes in disconnected silos—funding for health, funding for education, funding for culture, funding for capital improvements, etc. In this mode, it is difficult for a community to build leadership and capacity for sustained improvement. 

“Advocates point to the need for community-based solutions grown and driven by those with the greatest stake in success—the residents themselves.”

Our Story

Hawaii Rise Foundation Executive Director, Breeani Sumera Lee

“My mom and I opened the Keaukaha General Store in Hilo, Hawaii, in 2013. One day, I caught a young boy stealing in the store. Rather than calling the police, I asked him why he was stealing, why he didn’t get a job or find volunteer opportunities. His response was simple–he didn’t know how. 

He had no idea how to get a job, how to write a resume, or where to go for opportunities. At that moment, I felt it was essential to help our youth develop their potential. I started the Hawaii Rise Foundation, and began a free community education series for teens in January, 2016. Our first class was on resume building.”

With our strong community partnerships and our focus on listening to those we serve, the Hawaii Rise Foundation has continued to develop, serving a wide array of needs in our community. Want proof? Check out our most recent results.

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We partner with businesses, government, and other organizations to build on the strengths of our community.