“For there is always light if only we are brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it.” - Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate


When We Shine Foundation is a fully accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit based on the island of Maui, in the state of Hawaiʻi. Mission: To provide opportunities for young people to develop skills in environmental stewardship & leadership through arts education. Our work offers visual & auditory, multi-media representations of the voices & stories of the young people who are changing the world.

Nā ʻAumakuaNā Leo O Ka Honua, (Voices of the Earth)Aloha E Koholā, Hawaiian Humpback WhaleʻIʻiwi, Hawaiian SongbirdʻŌpeʻapeʻa, Flying Hawaiian Bat

Our latest Multi-Media Music Project...

Nā Leo O Ka Honua, Endangered Species

In partnership with Pomaikaʻi Elementary School here on Maui, the project began in the fall of 2019 and the songs were completed on March 20, 2020, the day the world shut down from Covid. Slowly, weʻve gathered up these beautiful words, melodies and voices of the students and now offer it here for your enjoyment!

Shop Nā Leo O Ka Honua, Endangered Species

Arts & Aina Explorations June, 2023!

In our place-based learning projects, the children tell their stories thru multi-media arts. This is how we teach about community and activate social & cultural change.

Hereʻs a story about how to survive Covid. The song, recording, art and stop motion video were all created by 4th grade students at Pomaikaʻi Elementary School.

You can support us simply by listening to our Keiki Artists, VOICES OF THE EARTH, on any of your favorite streaming channels!

Donʻt just take our word for it...


It is just TOO MUCH!!!! I will cherish this video forever!

The kids have been writing scripts and practicing for the premiere all week. They even made flyers. Olali’s Mom emailed me and said that she printed like 50 flyers and was handing them out to strangers hahahahahh! 

 Thanks to all of you for being the highlight of my school year!

May, 2021

Brit Oliphant, 4th Grade Teacher

Kula Elementary School, Kula, HI


OH EMMMM GEEEEEEE!!! I'm sitting here crying my eyes out and my daughter says. "Wow mom, you're your students biggest fan!"  WAAAHHHHHH 

 This (music video) looks amazing. I can't wait to share it on Friday.

May, 2021

Amanda Shim, Teacher

Kula Elementary, Kula, HI


“As the Executive Director of Hana Arts, a nonprofit organization in East Maui, I can attest to how beneficial and deeply impactful the When We Shine Foundation program has been for our rural and underserved keiki. Melinda Caroll, Rae Takemoto, and Shelley Toon Lindberg came to Hana School in January of 2022 to engage the students in song composition and illustration of the theme: Our Kūpuna, and the ʻĀina. ...I was surprised to see how well the team integrated into the classroom and how the children blossomed under their instruction." ..."We are honored and excited to work with the When We Shine team again and give our highest recommendation for them.”

March, 2022

Becky Lind, Executive Director, Hana Arts

Executive Director, Hana Arts


“I love this program! I see how this project has impacted the social emotional learning of the students. This kind of project is absolutely fantastic, because first of all, (itʻs gonna make me cry), because, they can identify with their roots. They need strong anchors of who they are and where they come from, because in their life, their family lives are struggling. Theyʻve witnessed domestic violence and abuse, thereʻre tons of stories, ...and theyʻre hurting. So by anchoring them in their roots, by letting them learn and have fun – itʻs wonderful! Itʻs been a blessing for me to watch them in this project!”

May, 2022

Debra Wyse, Student Counselor

`Īao Middle School, Wailuku, HI


"Raising your voice is a courageous act in this world. Telling your story by singing your song invites the community to a shared understanding in a language that communicates the message even louder and stronger.

My passion and art is to engage children as the creators and protectors of their world, to help them weave new stories of the earth and of each other in a way that’s playful, inclusive, emotionally expressive and hopeful!. There is nothing more inspiring than that for me!" Melinda Caroll

Melinda Caroll

Music Arts Teaching Artist, Kula, Maui, Hawaiʻi

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