Mural promotes positive activities

Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services staff and peer leaders partnered with Hawaii Commercial & Sugar, Co. to paint a mural on a wall at the former Paia Sugar Mill.

The mural promotes alternatives to using drugs and alcohol.

The wall at the mill was selected because it was constantly vandalized and plagued by weeds, shrubs and trash.

“Our hopes were that if we used the youth to paint a mural of positive activities and a positive message, then it would prevent future vandalism attempts and promote positive healthy activities while reminding the community about the history of Paia and of Maui,” said MEO Program Specialist Cassi Yamashita. “When requesting permission to paint the wall, HC&S said they were excited by this opportunity and offered to pay for all the supplies needed, but they needed permission from the county. After speaking with Jan Shishido, deputy director of the county Department of Housing and Human Concerns, permission was granted and the project became a reality. The pictures of activities that were selected for the mural are cultural or island activities that most locals can relate to. Through this mural we hope to gain a stronger sense of local pride from the community.”

MEO Youth Services is funded through the county Department of Housing and the state Department of Health Alcohol & Abuse Division.

For more information, call Youth Services Director Rose Duey at 249-2990.