PFA Volunteers Create a Stronger Punahou Community

By Raina Fujitani P’26,  PFA Volunteer VP 

As a newcomer to Punahou in 2017, I was eager to learn all that I could about its rich history, experience its traditions, and to meet and get to know the many people who make up its community. I found that at the core of what makes the community so unique and vibrant are the individuals who get involved to keep the community thriving and moving forward.

With so many people belonging to the Punahou community, meeting and keeping it all straight – who is who and who does what – has been so fun. Volunteering alongside fellow parents, faculty, staff and alumni for events has been a great way to get to know individuals in the community one person at a time. The shared experience of working together is always fulfilling. Together, volunteers provide valuable support to bring to life amazing experiences for those who attend events. Meeting fellow parents has unearthed many types of hidden gems of knowledge, camaraderie and nostalgia – parents of students that are older than my child always give a glimpse of what’s to come; parents of students in the same class as my daughter provide the opportunity to compare notes and hearing about the experiences of parents whose students are  younger than my child spark feelings of the good old days.

As PFA Volunteer VP, I oversee the record keeping of all our PFA volunteers and their commitments.  I also work with Kirsch Gallery and Performing Arts Chairs and committees. Kirsch Gallery Chairs and volunteers help keep the Kirsch Gallery open by providing volunteers to sit in the gallery during hours that are open and host receptions for new exhibits. Performing Arts Chairs and volunteers assist with providing volunteers who help with costumes and sets and ushers for different performances.  

These are just two of the many PFA committees or areas of commitment that volunteers can assist with.  Joining a committee is an engaging way to understand more about Punahou, meet other families, and understand the educational journey of our children.  It is also a rewarding way to model volunteerism for our children.   

The beauty of the vast and wide Punahou community is that there are so many fascinating experiences and pathways. And at the heart of each part of the community is the care and love for our students from parents, faculty and staff coupled with the pride in Punahou’s legacy and accomplishments.

Another great benefit of volunteering is getting to reconnect with old friends. Though we’ve traveled different paths to becoming parents of Punahou students, I’ve been able to reconnect with childhood friends or meet people who I have mutual connections with. We volunteer together which gives us time to catch up and contribute at the same time.

I may not be able to meet or get to know all of the amazing members of our community, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey to get to know as many people as I can. Volunteering is making that possible!

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