Miki‘ala Lidstone
Executive Director

Miki‘ala M. Lidstone is the president and chief staff person of Ulu A‘e. Her experiences as a high school teacher and as a kumu hula in the rapidly growing community of Kapolei have lead her to develop programs and curriculum that help participants develop a sense of place and belonging. She believes strongly in place-based education and believes that all keiki and youth should have endless opportunities to grow their relationship to ‘āina (land). Miki‘ala also spearheads efforts to steward and bring awareness to Pu‘uokapolei.

Keanu Scheer
Lead Instructor

Keanu Scheer was born and raised in Kapolei, O‘ahu. As a graduate and student in Kapolei High School’s Ho‘ōla Academy, Keanu developed a passion for natural sciences and sustainability initiatives. He enjoys weaving lauhala, dancing hula and learning about kapa. “I love that working at Ulu A‘e aligns with my interests,” says Keanu. “I love being part of traditions.” His hope is that the students he works with pass on what they learn. Keanu continues to strengthen his skills in teaching and aspires to become a master practitioner. Keanu is a certified lifeguard.

Kamaka Cardines
Lead Instructor, Program Specialist

Kamaka Cardines was born and raised in Nānākuli, O‘ahu. Kamaka comes from a long line of hunters and knows the landscape and stories of our forests. Through his work at Ulu A‘e, he has expanded his knowledge of mo ‘olelo (stories) and native Hawaiian practices. His goal is to be a practitioner of sustainability by empowering communities to care for our land and engage in daily practices that feed both body and mind. Kamaka is a certified hunter and lifeguard.

Kekoa Osurman
Lead Instructor

Kekoa was born in Manana Uka (Pacific Palisades) and raised in Mililani. He earned his Hawaiian Studies Degree from Leeward Community College and has a Bachelors in Communications from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Mo‘olelo (storytelling) is what drew Kekoa to Ulu A‘e. “I like being a part of an organization that values storytelling,” says Kekoa. Kekoa is also a singer, songwriter, contemporary Hawaiian musician, Nā Hōkū Hanohano finalist and ordained minister. He’s been playing music since the age of 5. You can find his music on YouTube and Spotify, and can follow him @ko_koa_mele.

Kaelyn Pao
Lead Instructor

Born and raised in Mililani, Kaelyn is the eldest of seven siblings. She aspires to be an elementary school teacher and is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at UH West Oahu. Providing opportunities for keiki to grow in nurturing, safe learning spaces is something Kaelyn values in her work at Ulu A‘e. Kaelyn loves dancing hula, spending time with her siblings and creating creative lessons for the students she works with.

Kaʻike Akau
Program Specialist

Ka‘ike was born and raised in ‘Ewa, O‘ahu. She currently attends UH West O‘ahu and is working towards a BA in Business Administration. She discovered a joy for teaching and a curiosity for entrepreneurship when she began working at Ulu A‘e. Her goal is to start her own business with a focus on sustainability.

Maka Anuhealiʻi
Program Coordinator

Maka was born and raised in Makakilo. She is Co-owner of Makaiwa Maintenance and Landscaping and has an extensive background in plant propagation and water testing. She has  served in various community leadership positions including chair of the Kapu‘uola Hula Festival Committee and lead referee for Makahiki Ma Kapolei. She enjoys gardening, cooking, and making prune mui. Maka says,  “Ulu A‘e Learning Center creates positive beliefs and caring habits in the early years of our community’s keiki and young adults.  These habits will grow compassionate adults which will make a future good for us all. Being a small part of this haven for learning is very rewarding for me.”

Vena Talia
Van Driver

Vena was born and raised in Kalihi and currently resides in ‘Ewa with his ‘ohana. Vena is a husband and father of two. His daughter and wife dance hula and his son is an aspiring chef. He started driving for Ulu A‘e in February 2020 when Ulu  A‘e began after school pick ups. Fun fact is that he is a big Dragon Ball-Z fan!