Ka Pa‘alana met the Santiago-Hoffman Family in 2007. Synthia would bring her daughter Taysja to the preschool on the beach in Mā‘ili because she wanted to give her daughter a head start in school; whether or not she knew, Synthia was already setting the stage for educational success for her children at an early age. In an interview for Ka Pa‘alana’s newsletter in 2008, Synthia stated that Ka Pa‘alana was instrumental in the education of her children: “Taysja has improved her number and alphabet recognition and her verbal skills improved immensely. I use tracing to teach the difference between upper and lower case letters and the letters in her name.”
Taysja graduated from Ka Pa‘alana in 2008 and then attended Kamaile Academy PCS. Synthia’s continued involvement in Taysja’s education became evident when Taysja received the award for “Student of the Year.” On Monday, June 1, 2015, Taysja Santiago-Garcia attained yet another of the many milestones in her life by graduating 6th grade. A few Ka Pa‘alana staff were privileged to attend and share this special moment with Taysja and her family.
Looking back, it’s easy to see what helped Taysja get to this point in her life: parents who accepted and embraced the kuleana to be their child’s first and most important educator. Mahalo to Joseph and Synthia for allowing Ka Pa‘alana to be a part of their lives and giving us this opportunity to see how far Taysja has come.