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State Honoree

Corey Johnson

Hawaii

Corey Johnson, 17, of Hilo, Hawaii, a student at Hilo High School, founded an organization of more than 100 young people from 12 schools who work together to address juvenile delinquency and other youth issues on his island. Corey’s idea for “Na Leo O Na Opio,” which means “The Voices of the Youth,” came to him while working with the prosecutor’s office to create a report on juvenile delinquency in Hawaii County. He realized that one report was not enough. “To provide solutions for juvenile delinquency, the entire youth population must be represented, and a youth voice must be established and maintained,” said Corey. So he worked with government agencies to create a formal youth development group, recruited students from 12 schools, and built partnerships with local organizations to focus on a wide range of initiatives that promote a positive environment for youth, relating to education, recreation, transportation, job opportunities, and healthy behavior. Approximately $100,000 has been raised to fund numerous projects, including a youth economic development center, a health fair for elementary children and a career fair for high school sophomores. “The mark you leave on this world comes with your capacity to care for others,” said Corey.