Deb Marois, Coordinator
Deb Marois began work as the Ho’oikaika Coordinator in September 2021.
As founder of Converge Consulting, Research & Training, she specializes in facilitating collaborative action to create healthier and more equitable communities.
Deb began her career as residential social worker in England before shifting to community and organizational development. She’s worked on a range of issues such as poverty alleviation, maternal and child health, mental health innovation, education reform, and violence prevention. Deb offers expertise in cross-sector community change initiatives; civic engagement; group facilitation; strategic planning; grant writing; participatory action research and evaluation. Her recent projects in Hawai’i include:
- Providing technical assistance for non-profits seeking federal grants through a pilot program of the Hawai’i Association of Nonprofit Organizations (HANO).
- Evaluating the Youth Participatory Action Research initiative implemented by the Hawai’i Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the YMCA of Honolulu.
- Participating on a research team led by Skog Rasmussen, LLC to identify lessons learned from the distribution of CARES Act funding to nonprofits in Hawai’i. COVID and CARES Act: Lessons for and from Hawaiʻi’s Nonprofit Sector.
- Serving as a facilitator for the Hawai’i Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) sponsored by Hawai’i Children’s Action Network.
Raised in rural upstate NY, Deb lived in Northern California for 25 years before relocating to Maui. A lifelong learner, she holds a Master of Science degree in Community Development from the University of California, Davis and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Deb is a member of Hawai’i Community Benefits Consultants and volunteer with Mindful Hawai’i and Open Floor International. In her free time, she enjoys snorkeling and free form dance meditation.
Please contact Deb with any questions or reach out to say hello, talk story and share your ideas.
Heidi Allencastre, System Navigator
As the Ho’oikaika Navigator, Heidi Allencastre connects families with community resources, facilitates communication among agency partners, and provides family strengthening and child abuse prevention education and outreach. She is also currently a student at University of Hawaii Maui College.
Heidi knows first-hand how challenging parenting can be and what a powerful difference community support makes. When her daughters were both under age five, Heidi worked with Maui Family Support Services to strengthen her parenting. Later, she served as a Parent Educator Intern with Ka Pu’uwai O Na Keiki program and as a facilitator in their Youth Services program.
Through her various community activities, Heidi shares her mana’o and voice to support the needs of our ‘ohana and the programs that serve them. As a parent, a direct services provider and a Maui native, Heidi feels a kuleana to advocate for changes that result in healthy keiki so that youth can succeed and reach their full potential. She completed the Hawai’i Parent Leadership Training Institute program in 2022 and now serves as a facilitator.
Contact Heidi with any questions or reach out to say hello or talk story.
“Support is extremely necessary for families to succeed and move past difficult circumstances."
~ Heidi Allencastre
Leina’ala Kealoha, Intern
Leina’ala Kealoha was born and raised on Maui and is currently in her 3rd semester at the University of Hawai’i, Maui Campus pursuing a degree in Hawaiian Studies. Leina’ala brings with her 20 years of experience within the hospitality industry.
Leina’ala is part of the Mu’o a’e scholarship program at the University of Hawai’i and currently serving as an intern with Ho’oikaika Partnership. She hopes to learn more about each individual partner.
In her current role, she assists with administration tasks. community outreach events and writing blog posts from the perspective of a Resource Caregiver.
Dezza Santos, Intern
Dezza Santos is pursuing a degree in Human Services at the University of Hawai’i Maui College. She holds a Certificate of Competence in Youth Development, which enables her to help young people gain confidence as they transition into adulthood.
In her current role, Dezza assists with administration tasks, committees, and the annual ʻOhana Fest. She hopes to improve her social interaction skills and develop a better understanding of event planning. This internship will help her become a lifelong learner whether it is from school or experiences.
Dezza was born and raised on the Island of Maui and is a mother to four little boys ranging from the ages 6 years to 10 months old. They love to go to the beach to enjoy and be present with her family.