Kasey Galariada has been with our Ka Paʻalana Homeless Family Education Program for over 10 years. Starting out as a preschool teacher, Kasey worked as a Site Supervisor for several years before becoming the Community Outreach Manager this year.
Kelsey La Cuesta is a Preschool Teacher at Ka Paʻalana’s HOPE Shelter site. Working at PIDF for about a year, Kelsey says there is never a boring day at work with Kasey. She mimes Kasey’s “normal dance that everyone knows,” saying that Kasey can’t be described in just three words.
Other coworkers call Kasey fun-loving, humorous, and energetic, and cite her experience working with toddlers as an asset to the team. When asked about her teaching style, Ka Paʻalana’s Program Manager, Terry Nakamura, describes it as “very messy! There’s paint all over the place when she teaches because it’s child-centered and gives [the keiki] the freedom and permission to learn through all of their senses.”
“Her heart for the families is inspiring,” says Terry. “No matter how busy she is or how much pressure there is, she always seems to be able to keep them the priority.”
Born and raised in Waiʻanae, Kasey knows the families, the culture, and is passionate about helping change her own community. She says she most enjoys is being in contact with the families, and being able to engage with the whole family unit — not just the keiki.
“It’s unique that we’re here for the whole family, and create this ʻohana culture where everyone is accepted,” says Kasey. She explains how ending the cycle of poverty through education is Ka Paʻalana’s primary mission, and that she feels blessed to be part of it.
Kasey describes how working with the Ka Paʻalana families has created a complete transformation within her and even how she mothers her children, saying she sees success for her children as them being good people and seeing the good in others.
“I’m so inspired by the families… the children, their resilience, and I think this job has really taught me that people who have the least often give the most,” she says. She humbly explains how as passionate as she is about her job, that it would be a difficult job if it weren’t for the people she works with and the people they serve.
“Kasey is probably the most whole-hearted person I’ve ever met,” says Kelsey. “Everything she does, she does to the best of her ability. And I know she’s going to do great things for Ka Paʻalana.”
Mahalo nui loa to Kasey for her compassion for and dedication to our Ka Paʻalana ʻohana! We are thrilled to be able to honor her as our last Na Makamae for 2019. She is truly an inspiration.
Na Makamae is our monthly segment where we recognize employees who are doing tremendous work with the children and families they serve. ‘Na Makamae’ refers to those who are prized, highly valued, highly appreciated. Na Makamae are those who are endeared to us.