Youth Programs

Lei ‘Ilima Girls Program

Since 1994, CDFH has supported Lei ‘Ilima, a school-based, gender-specific prevention program for girls based at Ilima Intermediate School. “Lei ‘Ilima” symbolizes healthy connections for female adolescents. ‘Ilima, the flower of Oahu, grows in abundance on the Ewa plain. To string and give a lei expresses love, respect, empathy and celebration. Sharing a lei forms a bond of affection and appreciation. The project aims to empower girls to form and participate in healthy connections with peers, school personnel, families and members of the community.

The multi-faceted program offers an after-school club, Girls Circle, a school transition program, and family strengthening component. 

  • The after-school Lei ‘Ilima Club provides girls the opportunity to participate in planned activities, special events and community service projects. The goal is to promote positive peer relationships.  

  • Girls Circle is a nationally recognized curriculum to support healthy development of girls’ self-concept, peer relationships, social competencies, life skills, and personal wellness.  

  • Through the school transition program, girls making the transition from elementary-to-middle school, and middle-to-high school get support and a network for healthy transition at these high stress times for adolescents.  

  • The project also includes a family component that uses the Strengthening Hawai‘i Families curriculum to build on existing family relationships and offer family bonding.