In Hawaiian, the word ‘ohana’ means family. The Ohana Matters Foundation believes that a community is a family. Just like the success of each individual in a family, the success of a community begins with a commitment to its individual members. The ability to sustain growth within a community is foundational to ensuring a community family thrives. By supporting and inspiring the young individuals living in historically underpriviledged areas of Hawaii and Nevada, the Ohana Matters Foundation hopes to encourage the type of sustainable growth that can rebuild communities and foster the bonds of 'ohana' for future generations.

Our mission as the Ohana Matters Foundation includes:

  • Encouraging underpriviledged youth to complete educations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields;
  • Assisting these promising students as they pursue high-tech careers in Hawaii and Nevada;
  • Fostering a commitment to one's community by identifying internship opportunities that provide promising STEM-oriented students the chance to give back to their communities, and;
  • Providing these students the resources needed to pursue high-tech careers after they graduate.

The Ohana Matters Foundation knows many students face great challenges, but we are certain that together there is no problem we can’t solve.




If you are a high school senior interested in studying science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics, we encourage you to submit a scholarship application forHawaiiorNevadafor the 2016-2017 school year.

We are also looking to recruit student interns who will serve as a positive influence to younger students. As an intern, you will work with students in grades 4-6 who have displayed a passion for STEM topics. Your support and encouragement will improve their chances of attending college and studying the topics they love. If you are a high school junior or senior, or a college freshman looking to give back to your community, we encourage you to submit a STEM Internship Application for the 2016-2017 school year.

Communications/Philosophy Interns

We are also offering paid internships for graduating seniors who are considering attending UNLV in the Fall of 2016, in the Communications and Philosophy fields. Students with backgrounds and interest in researching and presenting evidence and reasoning from multiple points of view are encouraged to apply by emailing Students of color, and those with experience in debate team or in debate class are particularly encouraged to apply.


We encourage local professionals in STEM-related fields to take an active role in mentoring and guiding younger students who are contemplating high-tech STEM careers in Hawaii and Nevada. If you are a professional working in a STEM field and would like to serve as a mentor for scholarship recipients, please contact us for volunteer opportunities.




(702) 908-4236 | (808) 354-3920
Layne Fitzpatrick - Executive Director | Dave Hales - Managing Director | Keola Lacar - Board Member | Kawika Lacar - Board Member