My name is Sylvia Cenzano and I run the Educational Center along with a staff of amazing people – gifted, talented, educated, dedicated, knowledgeable about so many things, loving and caring.
I have been working with youth for 25 years focusing on personal responsibility skills and teamwork. Knowing that it is from feeling good about themselves that they excel (that goes for everyone!), a.k.a. a strong spirit, there is also a focus on understanding that their role in a team, in life, is essential, to be taken seriously and to be proud of it! I have worked with youth individually, at times for extended periods of time, and have worked with many groups.
I have a 40-year history of organic gardening and farming, starting at about age 10 with indigenous Peruvian approaches, now pulling in Hawaiian and others with a diversity of knowledge that has been drawn to the island. Heading up a long-term sustainability focus on 9 1/2 acres here to help bring greater food balance to the island, I work in concert with many levels of diversity including the plants we are putting into our young orchards.
Our farmers from other farms are educators as well, a large team composed of seriously focused people dedicated to teaching sustainability as much as to live it! Some are degreed or certified in their area of expertise, some are so vastly experienced that they teach the teachers. We will rotate them in for varied lessons in the very Earthly and Natural things the children are interested in, like the peeling sphere-shaped formation found in our river bed that was thought might be a dinosaur egg – turns out we have a Geologist in the “family” that taught us what that really is. 🙂
I am on the council of the Pacifica Indigenous Grandmothers Council of Maui and within this group am responsible for our work in our community that will involve the well-being of our precious youth. Since I understand our spirit to be at the “heart” of who we are, the foundation of who we will become, supporting that which makes children strong and resilient is in everyone’s best interest. Here we provide a safe place for them to be open, to be who they are.
Some of my support staff for these camps are part of our intentional community, residents here – we work and live together and as such create effective, productive teamwork. Others coming to help in these camps have been involved with me since the inception of our project. This is our 4th year working with youth here and our first inviting so much of the community in to join us. We welcome you and your children!