The Po‘okela program is for clients in the Therapeutic Living Programs. Clients are taught the value of having a vision, setting goals and the steps needed to accomplish those goals. Clients are looking at career options of interest, what is needed to pursue that career, identifying costs and benefits of these career choices to ensure they are worth pursuing. Clients are taught about Hawaiian values, proverbs and ancestors, bringing a cultural outlook on paving a pathway for success.


As the largest client ethnic group served by BISAC, Hawaiian culture, values and beliefs are reflected in many areas of BISAC services; however, every effort is made to integrate other cultural practices, values and belief systems where possible.


Both Dean and “Mom” (Audrey) thoroughly enjoy teaching BISAC clients basic culinary skills with the thought, give them fish and they will eat for a day; teach them how to fish and they will eat for a lifetime!

— Dean Shigeoka, Culinary Vocational Instructor, and


“Each class has been interesting and we both feel that each one of them have the potential to turn their lives around. Many graduates go on to pursue jobs in the culinary field, which is our goal.”

— Audrey Wilson, Volunteer Culinary Consultant


“’Pūpūkāhi i holomua” which translates, ‘Unite to move forward’. The explanation for this proverb is literally…’By working together we make progress’. This saying would be especially applicable to the Hawaiians on their canoes where each paddler would have to pull the paddles together on command in order to make the canoe move forward quickly. This is very symbolic of the work at BISAC.”

— Richard Likeke Teanio