Who We Are
Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a unique organization of young professionals ages 18 to 40 with a common goal to create sustainable positive impact in the community. Currently, there are over 200,000 JCI members among 5,000 local organizations internationally. We aim to develop young active citizens and equip them with skills and knowledge to organize and run innovative projects to make their community a better place.
The Honolulu Chinese Jaycees is a local chapter of JCI Hawaii and this year’s host chapter. Established in 1953 by Dr. Wai Sen Char, the Honolulu Chinese Jaycees (HCJ) is a civic, leadership development, and community service organization comprised of young persons between the ages of 18 and 40 who come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Need In Community
In 2000, leaders from around the world came together at the United Nations to put forth a framework to tackle matters such as hunger, poverty, and education, which came to be called the Millennium Development Goals. At the end of 2015, world leaders met again to put forth a new set of goals that built off of the Millennium Development Goals; these would come to be known as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Each year, we survey educators across Hawaii and with their feedback, we have found that is a high need to create a better learning environment for our children. In many cases where we had expected teachers to request things such as laptops and other school supplies, they instead mentioned improvements to facilities, cleaning and maintenance of campus grounds, and to help facilitate creative programs, such as those aimed at motivating our children to pursue higher education.
According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school supply spending has increased nearly 50% over the last decade. Many supplies, including composition books, ruled paper, and sharpened pencils are imperative for a good education for our children. With their students in mind, teachers on average spend $500 of their own money every year replenishing the needs of their students.
Recently, the teacher shortage in Hawaii has been highlighted by the Department of Education’s recruiting trips to the mainland. Hawaii has one of the highest teacher turnover rates in the country with reports of over 410 teacher vacancies. Our current and future teachers are in need of our community’s full support in their efforts to educate our children. With the expectations of our children to receive post-secondary education, it is imperative that their educational foundation is not constructed at the financial expense of our teachers, who struggle to maintain a decent wage with Hawaii’s well known high cost of living.
History of Adopt-A-School Day
This year we celebrate the 13th anniversary of Adopt-A-School Day, which began as a Hawaii State Jaycee Project, and is now a National Project with JCI USA. A past Hawaii State Jaycee President was challenged by his mentor to put forth a great project during his presidency. After observing various educators in Hawaii pay out of pocket for their supplies, such as composition books for their students, an idea was born. That idea then, came to be known as Adopt a School Day. Today, Adopt-A-School Day is project that brings together the community to raise awareness, support, and to recognize our educators and their schools. We do this in the school supply donations, as well as through the donated time of our volunteers to create and execute meaningful projects for our educators and their schools.
Volunteers and partners are essential to our movement. Local professionals, educators, parents, grandparents, students, and community leaders everywhere can work together towards helping our educators in creating a better classroom environment. As a partner of Adopt-A-School Day, you will be enlisted with many other individuals and organizations to work together to develop projects for various schools in your designated area, and also work to pool resources to offer classroom materials for our educators in Hawaii. With more than 13,000 educators and 290 schools in Hawaii, there is no questioning the size and scope of our goals for Adopt-A-School Day. There are many ways for you to get involved in our grassroots movement. Adopt-A-School Day seeks your help, through volunteering, sponsorship, and donations. Every school and educator can be better served by our commitment on that Day.
If you would like to enlist as an individual or an organization to partner with JCI Hawaii for Adopt-A-School Day, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will get back to you to arrange an appointment with you or your organization to find out how you can help with Adopt-A-School Day.