How a Single Mom from Micronesia Thrives in Hawai’i

The difficulties of raising children in uncertain times

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“Imagine having to raise children in a new country without knowing how the school systems work or where to go for childcare. This is the story for many families in Hawaiʻi and was the case for me.

“I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised by my grandparents in Chuuk, one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. After graduating from high school, my mother passed away. While grieving my loss, I attended college in Micronesia for a brief period before setting my sights on a better life overseas.

Like many Micronesians, I ended up in Hawaiʻi. Once I arrived, I found it difficult to fit in the local workplace—especially as a single mother. I quickly discovered the challenges of balancing work and raising a family.

“I bounced around different jobs, accepted help when it was offered, and just barely stayed afloat as I struggled to raise my two little ones.

“Then I stumbled upon a flyer in Palolo for the Sunday Project, a program offered by Parents And Children Together (PACT).

“The Sunday Project provides culturally driven learning opportunities and resources for families who are new to Hawaiʻi. For many families, the Sunday Project is a lifeline. For me, it paved the path of my career in service, and more importantly, allowed me to become a better mom for my two girls.”

“Parents And Children Together is a multi-faceted nonprofit providing early childhood education and social services to nurture the relationships that matter most for children and families in Hawaiʻi,” according to the organization’s website.

Read more of Nanette’s story and how the Sunday Project from PACT helped her to become, not just a client, but an employee, too. Now she helps others in her role as a program assistant.

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