Kylee Hamamoto ’24: Why WeGo!

By Kylee Hamamoto ’24

Every time I needed an escape from reality or to get my mind off something, my dad would take me cruising in our car. On these drives, there wasn’t much talking, but an awkward silence never lingered in the car and my frustrations and sadness would ease.

“We go,” he would say.

These simple words offered me his support and love, gave me confidence and assured me that everything would be alright.

I want girls everywhere to experience the same support and love when they hear the words, “we go,” so I started an Academy service club called WeGo! that offers girls various opportunities to help the community, specifically women and girls.

Last spring, with the help of other students and faculty advisors, WeGo! donated more than 250 pounds of clothing to YWCA USA’s “Dress for Success” program. The clothes were collected during a drive at Punahou and are intended to help women have the attire to get jobs.

I felt the drive was a great experience that allowed us to connect other students with our mission of helping women and girls get the opportunities they need to succeed. 

We also created a podcast called, “Where do WeGo?” where we interview female leaders who can inspire girls to do more. Guests have included Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare Connors ’92, Mana Up founders Meli James ’96 and Brittany Heyd, actress Kaliko Kauahi and others. The podcast is now available on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts.

WeGo! also organized an event called, WeGoing Places, in collaboration with career coach Melanie Feldman ‘07, to teach students about networking. And last spring, we helped organize and execute the Women in Tech virtual conference and took part in a beach cleanup at Kalama Beach Park. 

My next goal is to create opportunities for girls everywhere to use this network to tell each other stories, empower one another and work together. I believe by bonding and working through our common struggles, we can build each other up and break through glass ceilings together. 

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