It takes a special heart to run a nonprofit and a courageous one to build that nonprofit from the ground up. It’s fitting, then, that mana is the Hawaiian word for “inner strength.” It’s a word that describes the people who come through the doors at Mana Services and its founders, Jennifer and Harland Ah You.
Mana Services’ programs are invaluable to the Ah You’s community. They don’t just help disadvantaged youth via housing, counseling, and education. They also provide more permanent group homes to people with developmental disabilities. In many ways, Mana Services assists young adults who might otherwise be lost between government and community programs.
“My husband and I are from Hawaii, so mana is the basis of all our programs,” Jennifer says. “We help our clients recognize their strengths. Then, hopefully, we can build onto those and add tools for them to be as independent as possible for whatever they’re working through.”
But while their cause is noble, it’s how Jennifer and her team accomplish their goals that strikes a unique chord in the community.