Living at the base of the majestic Ko'olau Range on the island of Oahu has ingrained within me the appreciation for the beauty of our islands and all of its' resources. Our playground extended from Kaneohe through Kahalu'u to Kaaawa, Punalu'u and Kahuku. My father was from Kaaawa and mom was from Kaneohe. When I first arrived on the island of Moloka'i in 1974 to work as a teacher at the High School, Moloka'i felt like Kaneohe, as I stepped back into a dreamlike deja vu experience. My ancestors were from here. And so was I.
The thing that stood out for me as I walked into my first class as an English teacher at Molokai High and Intermediate was the health and handsomeness of my students' faces. I was overcome with their loveliness and yes their eagerness to learn. I was happy to be at Molokai High School. I fell in love with Moloka'i even more. And, I have been here since for nearly 40 years. I married Adolph Helm, have two wonderful sons, Kekamaikaikamaikalani (Ane) and Kanohowailuku (Lindy) and six mo'opuna.
My degrees allowed me to teach K - 12, in the subjects of English, Social Studies, Elementary Education, Hawaiian Immersion Program, Special Education, and Counseling in the Middle School. Having worked at three of the Elementary Schools from the various districts as well as the High School, I have come to know, greet, work with and respect the different communities. They are all such heartwarming, giving and hardworking people. Words cannot express the aloha that I feel for this island and all of its' people. My choice to be on this Health board was not difficult for me.
On June 1, 2011, I retired from the Department of Education and the timing was so right. My suspicions about a lump that I found was true to form, breast cancer was a new battle to process and heal from. It was time to take care of myself. And now with the support from family, friends, community, doctors, nurses, technicians, clergy, I am getting better. I am grateful beyond measure.
Every one of us here need support, good health practices, and an energized spirit to live day to day. This community health center provides comfort to many. We are blessed to be able to care and be of service to others. This is a mantra that permeates throughout our island home, in our communities, our churches, our schools, sports organizations, our State and County worksites, our medical facilities and especially in our homes. Malama kekahi i kekahi, we take care of one another, Aloha kekahi i kekahi, we love and support one another. Mahalo Ke Akua. Malama Pono, let us live in His spirit of aloha.
Corene K.M. Helm