By discovering what you’re passionate about and what kind of person you want to be, you can make healthy choices and open the door to new opportunities and a bright future. This website and our associated social media sites were created as part of a campaign by Hina Mauka’s Teen CARE program. The website and campaign is funded by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division through the Federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (“SAPT”) Block Grant funds. Teen CARE provides substance abuse prevention and treatment programs for children and teens throughout O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. Our prevention team includes Debbie Pennuto, Creson Fujii, Taylor Thomas, Shannon Gring, Colleen Fox and Nicole Benton-Hayden.

Debbie Pennuto

Sewing is my substance! This passion of mine didn’t start until I was an adult, but I do wish I had learned this skill as a teenager.  I love the idea of making something amazing out of a few pieces of material. When I sew, I get lost in my own little world so it is a great stress reliever. One thing about sewing is you don’t have to be creative just be willing to learn and be ok with the mistakes you make because to most people they will only see masterpiece in front of them.

Creson Fujii

Traveling is my substance.  Whether its places I’ve been before or new places to see, traveling is what makes me free.  From picking a place, to organizing what we’ll do and seeing it all come together, it’s an excitement that comes to life.  Being able to explore a new country or state, learning about different cultures, trying new foods and appreciating what is out there.  But the best thing I like about traveling is that I get to do it with my family.

Taylor Thomas

Running is my substance. I have been running since I was in middle school when I joined the cross country team to hang out with my friends after school. Little did I know, I would instantly fall in love with running. I am not the fastest runner out there, but what matters is that I always go out and try my best. Running teaches me that I can overcome any obstacle that comes my way, especially when my biggest obstacle can be my mind and my body. The feeling when you finish a long run is really indescribable and makes me feel like I am on top of the world. Running helps me forget about my problems, at  least for a little while. Running and staying active has always been a huge part of my life and I hope it always will be.

Colleen Fox

Reading is my substance! Growing up, reading science fiction was always a great escape to visit places with different cultures, technologies, and environments. Later, my passion for reading novels and books about Japan, Russia, and China helped widen my worldview. When I had the chance to visit some of the places I had read about, I had a rich history to draw upon from the stories I loved. Lately. I’ve been reading Terry Pratchett’s hilarious Discworld books. Reading is my substance because it shaped who I am and opened my eyes to new ideas and different worlds.

Shannon Gring

My substance is the ocean. Anything having to do with water really, I find it healing and inspiring.  Whether I’m surfing or shelling, sitting on a boat or diving to the depths of the sea. It calms me, it frees me. The water leaves me weightless and can carry all troubles away. I find connection in the water, a connection to myself and to mother sea. Even sitting on the shoreline listening to the music, the waves inspire my other substances which are writing and creating art.

Nicole Benton-Hayden

Hiking is my substance. I love being outside getting fresh air and exercise. Even if a hike is hard, the view is always worth it, especially in Hawai`i. I’m originally from Oregon, so hiking helps me to continue to feel connected to where I came from. When I’m on a hike, I feel like I can breathe and relax, and let go of worries. The only thing on my mind is taking in the view. Hiking is a big part of who I am.