Tell us a little about yourself.
Aloha! My name is Karla Kaleinani Mokihana Noa. I am from Nānākuli, Oʻahu. I obtained my BA in Hawaiian Studies from Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH Mānoa. I am pursuing a master’s in library information science at San Jose State University and expect to graduate in August 2021. I exercise frequently, read and listen to audiobooks and music. I love to travel, and hopefully one day I will be able to do that. I am a creative person and love capturing others’ stories and bringing them to life through film, paper and pen.
Why is joining the JCI VISTA Fellows program important for you and your future?
As a Kanaka (Hawaiian Native), I believe this will not just bring me back to my ʻāina (place, homeland) once more, but it will assist me in fostering relationships that are needed to fulfill the sustainable projects, policies and outcomes that should have been utilized and assessed years ago. My talents and skillset can contribute in not just promoting sustainable programs for future UH System students, but also in community transformation through impacting individual lives one at a time.
What kind of work do you hope to do after the program wraps up?
I would like to work in film, investments and designed community outcomes that are specific and actionable. Communities can be self-sustaining by building businesses that drive self-efficiency, such as farming, locally-grown produce, and community programs that teach families how to grow their own produce.
If you could change anything about our world, what would you change and why?
I would transform individuals’ consciousness. The reactions and outcomes of human action impact all organisms, including ʻāina (land) and moana (ocean). To be self-sustainable and thrive harmoniously, we can take a lesson from Indigenous peoples and the Earth. Therefore, I would require a month of cleanup, restoration and planting, and agricultural farming.