Dr. Nani Lee’s Faculty Testimony: Kapualani Mashima
Mentoring is a reciprocal relationship. The mentor is someone who achieves a one-to-one developmental relationship with another AND the recipient of the mentoring identifies the mentor as enabling personal growth to take place. For many, the role of a mentor is not sought, it evolves as the mentor accepts the responsibility as the foundation in the lifelong learning of their mentee/scholar and of themselves.
Service learning is an educational method by which participants learn and develop through active participation in service that is conducted in and meets the needs of a community. Service learning integrates and influences the lifelong learning of the participants and includes structured time for the participants to reflect on the service experience.
Lifelong learning is not merely a tool for learning but one of its purposes. The holistic view sees lifelong learning as progress throughout life toward achieving development as a person, and growth as a citizen within the community.
Understanding the meaning of mentoring, service learning and lifelong learning and offered the opportunity of mentoring as a service learning project or writing a 25 page research paper this youthful, mother of four made a commitment to be a mentor for two young scholars in Waimanalo, thus affording these scholars with learning opportunities, supports and the desire to learn, assistance in the acquisition of life skills for citizenship and a dream of a post high school education.
Mentoring extended beyond the requirements of the course and still continues. This recipient extended her time and energy to two very fortunate young girls. These young girls were also embraced by her own children and included in family activities. Not an easy feat for a full time student and mother---driving from Ewa to Waimanalo to meet her commitment. After all, it wasn’t just a course requirement, the scholars were now family.
There are certain people, who enter a child’s life, who enables them to learn, develop, gain confidence and understand their value. Kapua Mashima, a lifelong learner herself, and an exemplary mentor, supports lifelong and service learning through her role as a mentor with these young scholars. Kapua helped these scholars strengthen their informal support systems, social bonds and gain a feeling of confidence, when their internal and external environments were not always predictable. She assisted in the development of their coherence. Kapua reflects a group of students, who carry a message as they work with out communities’ youth, “vulnerable but invincible”.
This sustained effort requires special recognition, respect and support. Thank you Kapua and the idealism that you represent. A'ohe hana nui ka alu'ia. (No task is too big when done together.)