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Lahaina Intermediate program teaches students life skills

By Staff | Feb 7, 2019

LAHAINA – The Gentlemen by Choice (GBC) Island Ladies and Gents Program (ILGP) is back by popular demand at Lahaina Intermediate School (LIS) for 2019 commencing the week of Feb. 18.

“We are currently in the process of accepting applications for both the Island Gents and Island Ladies program. We are encouraging sixth- and seventh-graders; and, if we have room, we will accept eighth-graders.

“We have capped the participation to 25 Gents and 25 Ladies,” LIS Principal Stacy Bookland advised.

The young men meet once a week for the remainder of the school year on Thursdays, and the ladies meet on Tuesdays.

Richard Jack is the GBC co-founder, executive director, operations manager, program developer and visionary.

Since its inception in 2016 on the West Side, he said, the Gentlemen By Choice (GBC) Island Ladies and Gents program has had a positive influence on the holistic well-being of more than 200 students.

Its mission is to enrich the lives of our young people through Leadership, Image, Finance and Etiquette (LIFE) skills training.

“The goal is to positively impact not only the everyday lives of our youth but the success of their futures by educating them and equipping them with the tools that will empower them for future success,” Jack added.

Dawn Jackman is the program coordinator.

“She is the voice of GBC on Maui and is responsible for overseeing the Island Ladies and Gentlemen’s program,” Jack told the Lahaina News.

Jackman is committed.

“I believe that both Island Ladies and Island Gents at the middle school age need this support more than ever. This is a huge transitional time of their lives,” she said.

Community buy-in is key to the success of the program’s mentorship.

Brandon J. Maeda is the complex director, Food & Beverage, for The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas and The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas.

He currently serves “as the chair of the board for GBC, the parent organization to Island Gents.”

For the past three years, according to Maeda, The Westin complex has “been in-kind supporters for various fundraising efforts, as well as being hosts of etiquette lunches for the students to practice the skills learned in our classroom dining etiquette sessions.”

More importantly, he observed, “This program allows professionals in the community to connect with our local youth at a critical age when we can make a lasting impression on their future. We hope to serve as positive role models for them and instill values and skills that will help them to be successful contributing members of the community as they grow in to young adults.”

The Westin Complex Human Resources Director Annette David was recently appointed to serve on the GBC national board.

She is a confirmed advocate.

“The purpose of GBC is to promote positive growth development of the whole child. Their philosophy is ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults,’ ” she said.

“With today’s massive influence of social media on our youth and the self-limiting messages that are being broadcasted,” David continued, “this program is essential in (helping to) create a strong foundation in our future generation.”

There are other West Maui partners standing in line to give our youth a boost, like the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, Maid Inn Paradise Cleaning Company, Megavega Properties, Peake/Levoy Commercial Real Estate Services, Kaanapali Ocean Adventures, Maui Done Rite Cleaning LLC and Maui Downhill.

“It is important for our students to have the opportunity to experience the mentorship program for positive experiences they may not have otherwise,” Bookland commented.

“As a society,” David summarized, “we place so much emphasis on educating our students on a school curriculum of reading, history, math, etc., and very little focus is made on educating children on the power of their thoughts, their emotional intelligence and how using these powerful inner tools can support them to accomplish their dreams.”

“This program,” Bookland asserted, “helps to build better leaders in our school and community.”

Applications for the Island Gents and Island Ladies are available in the LIS office.

For more information, or to become a sponsor, contact Dawn Jackman at Dawn.jackman@gentlemenbychoice.org or (651) 247-4990.