Investing in its youth yields gains for community

Thank you to Gladys Baisa for recommending an increase in funding for Maui youth centers and recognizing that the youth centers on Maui “provide vital services, contributing to a high quality of life for many residents – and benefiting all of us in the years to come.”

One of the best investments that a community can give is to its youth. This is a truth, I believe, we all share.

The Paia Youth & Cultural Center is known for providing a safe place for youth and for its quality innovative programs. Started 20 years ago by Paia youth, the PYCC began with 27 members. During the last four years, the PYCC’s membership has doubled, averaging now 450 youths annually. Even though our membership has doubled, our funding, due to the last six years’ recessed economy, has been reduced in all areas – government contracts, grants, donations and fundraising. We have been challenged to provide more with way less funds.

The financial reality we currently face is severe. If we do not receive additional funding by July 1, 2014, we will be forced to reduce program hours and payroll. The PYCC today is an amazing place that only continues to get more amazing. Please check out our website at

Maui County has invested in youth centers for more than 20 years. It has been an extremely profitable investment for the whole community. Please support Maui’s future – its youth.

Susun White