MOTHER OF THE YEAR
Nominees for this award are sought yearly on the state level with recommendations coming from the mother's outside contacts such as church groups, choral groups, PTA organizations, local businesses etc. Nominees are well respected, devoted mothers who interact in a positive manner on a family, spiritual, community, and civic basis.

YOUNG MOTHER
Each state also has an opportunity to choose their nominee for the State Young Mother. This award honors dedicated, outstanding mothers who are striving to improve their parenting skills and whose children are 18 and younger. These mothers can be nominated at the state level by friends, family, and acquaintances.

Past MOTHERS OF THE YEAR

2009 HAWAII MOTHER OF THE YEAR
Gayle Araki

Gayle Araki was born in Kealakekua, Kona on the island of Hawaii and currently resides in Aiea, Oahu. She and her husband, Ronald, recently celebrated 36 wonderful years of marriage and have a son, Ronn, two daughters, Kristen and Lea, a son and daughter-in-law, Lance and Sharon, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild.

Gayle earned a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, but decided on being a "stay at home" mom. She found great satisfaction volunteering in the school and community, while enjoying national successes as a business woman working from home around her children's and husband's schedule. Currently, she is a public school substitute teacher and continues to seek out projects that impact young lives.

In preparation for retirement, she plans to volunteer in a hospice program and has taken up golf, coached by (in her eyes) Father of the Year, her husband Ronald.

My Philosophy of Parenting
My husband and I have always tried to parent through our actions rather than our words. However, when words were needed, we believed in sitting the children down and providing them the foundations to make good, healthy decisions. Throughout our children’s lives we have consciously tried to set an example in our marriage as a couple, love of the family, relationships with others, work ethics, service to the community and in living the basic teachings of a Buddhist.

The "Golden Chain of Love" is a part of the Buddhist teachings that states, "...I will to be kind and gentle to every living thing and protect all who are weaker than myself. I will try to think pure and beautiful thoughts, to say pure and beautiful words, and to do pure and beautiful deeds, knowing that on what I do now, depends not only my happiness or unhappiness but also those of others..." These words have great meaning for me and from them my husband and I developed a philosophy of parenting that focused on leading by example. Our hope was, by living our lives with kindness, humility and respect for others, our children, and others, will follow.

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2009 HAWAII YOUNG MOTHER OF THE YEAR
Joselyn Akana

Joselyn Kimberly Leialoha Lareau Robins-Akana was born on October 26, 1974 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  She is the second of four children with a multicultural heritage consisting of Hawaiian, Portuguese, French, and German ancestry.  A graduate of the University of Hawaii, Manoa, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Social Work.

Joselyn and husband Brandyn, an Assistant Professor and Men's Basketball Coach at Brigham Young University, Hawaii, have been married for nine and a half years.  They currently reside in Laie with their three children, Braelyn (8), Keonilei (7), and Tausili (5).

Joselyn is an active member of her Church and serves as their Activity Day Advisor for girls 8 - 9.  She actively participates in her children's school, often helping tutor in their respective classes.  She is a part-time preschool teacher at the Bright Beginning Learning Center.  She enjoys running, hiking, scrapbooking, and reading.

 

 
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