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Makai Keahoulu blue ocean and shoreline

Taelee Kimura

Taelee Kawahinenānea Kimura lived in New York City for 5 years. She held true to her Native Hawaiian values and often shared the story of Queen Liliʻuokalani with people she met. She also hosted Hawaiian nights to help other Hawaiians in the city find a little bit of home.

She loved the city but longed to return someday to Kauaʻi to be with her ʻohana.

Now, Taelee is living her dream as a Licensed Social Worker at LT’s Kīpuka Kauaʻi, serving kamaliʻi and their ʻohana.

Her alma matter is Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, where she boarded from Kauaʻi.

While studying at New York University for a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work, she interned in the city to counsel teens at an all-girls charter high school (Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy), worked for the nonprofit Public Allies New York, and supported elderly residents isolated during the pandemic (CLIO),     

Sustainability is a passion for Taelee. She combines social work with the environment, to help people heal trauma through ‘āina.

Her goal is to “uplift Native Hawaiians through sustainability and environmental efforts, growing our own food, making cultural practices a part of everyday life, fishing and hunting, using the food sources around us, and connecting with the way of indigenous peoples.” 

Taelee comes from plantation worker ancestry. Her Japanese and Portuguese ancestors worked on sugar cane plantations. She and her boyfriend, a kalo farmer, live on his family’s farm with five dogs, dogs, pigs, bunnies, chickens, cows, and sheep!   

When she isn’t serving kamaliʻi on Kauaʻi, Taelee loves to fish, read, craft, add to her scrapbook, and tend to her garden.