‘Raider’ spouse revives community organization

| July 22, 2016 | 0 Comments
The American Legion Auxiliary Aloha Girls State with the Department of Hawaii's American Legion Auxiliary members at the University of HawaiiÑWest Oahu. More than 30 high school students throughout Hawaii attended the four day program at UHWO, June 6-9.

The American Legion Auxiliary Aloha Girls State with the Department of Hawaii’s American Legion Auxiliary members at the University of HawaiiÑWest Oahu. More than 30 high school students throughout Hawaii attended the four day program at UHWO, June 6-9.


Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon

3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — When Haylie Culp moved to Oahu with her husband she brought her passion for civics and community service when she revived the American Legion Auxiliary Aloha Girls State this past June after it was inactive for 32 years.

Haylie Culp revived the American Legion Auxiliary Aloha Girls State organization in June after inactivity for 32 years. Haylie, married to Sgt. Nathan Culp, an electronic warfare NCO assigned to 3-4th Cav. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, was the Aloha Girls State program chairperson and a political science major attending the University of HawaiiÑWest Oahu.

Haylie Culp revived the American Legion Auxiliary Aloha Girls State organization in June after inactivity for 32 years.

Haylie is married to Sgt. Nathan Culp, an electronic warfare NCO assigned to 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. She became the Aloha Girls State program chairperson and is a political science major attending University of Hawaii—West Oahu.

“Aloha Girls State is an opportunity for us to reach back into the community and kind of help foster a sense of citizenship, understanding of government both city, county and state governments,” Culp said.

According to an Aloha Girls State press release, it is a nonpartisan political learning experience for select female students who have just completed their junior year in high school from all over the state.

The students learn parliamentary procedure, campaign, hold rallies, debate and ultimately vote to elect city, county and state officials.

“The idea is this gives girls the opportunity to see how the local government should work and how they can be involved,” Culp said. “So I think one easy way that kind of correlated is that they’re elected as election officials.”

Engaging
She explained when she came to Oahu there wasn’t a place for Department of Education students to properly engage local government, especially with Hawaii with one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country.

She said 32 females were given a chance from public and private schools throughout Oahu, and from the islands of Kauai and Hawaii to attend the June 6-9 program at the University of Hawaii—West Oahu.

Christine Gayagas was one of the co-directors on the planning committee for the Aloha Girls State who provided immense support to the organization.

“I am an alum of the program from the state of Maryland,” Gayagas said. “I was aware of the prestigious program that really helps kids in their development and also for their college resume.”

Gayagas said one of students, Kiana Stewart, went to Oregon for its program, because there wasn’t a similar program in the state of Hawaii.
“Co-director, Brister Thomas, and I worked on the resourcing piece and providing funding and support to Haylie, who was the lead for the program,” she said.

“Haylie was the chairwoman who built the program from the ground up with the flow of the program, devising the handbook, and identifying how the girls learn about the civics, and exercise consensus building through writing and passing bills and resolutions,” she continued.

Malee Sybounmy, a Kahuku High School student and Aloha Girls State U.S. Senator in 2016, said Culp helped her go beyond her normal comfort zone during the event.

“I’m an introvert, and that program completely evolved me into the person that I am today,” Sybounmy said. “Notice how I didn’t say change. I didn’t say change because this camp that Haylie led was something that doesn’t just change people, it improves them for the better.”

Serena Rice, a Moanalua High School student and 2016 Aloha Girls State Governor, found Culp enthusiastic and dedicated during her time with the program.

“Haylie consistently gave Aloha Girls State 120 percent and it motivated the girls to give just as much back,” Rice said. “It is that ability she possessed, to positively influence a group of people that is inspiring.”

Gayagas, a retired Army colonel and United States Military Academy graduate, added she was impressed with Culp efforts in the restarting of Aloha Girls State for female students across the Hawaiian Islands.

“I cannot believe her passion, dedication and the skill set as a young 23 year-old college student,” Gayagas said. “She took the ball and ran with it, and was very organized and made it all happen. So that’s really my message. She was so key to this organization and program.”

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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