What is Ohana?
Ohana in Hawaiian means family. You may have heard the word used in the popular Disney movie, “Lilo & Stitch”, where characters quote, “Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind”. Though true, there is a deeper meaning to the word and spirit of Ohana. It goes beyond inclusion or not being forgotten. Ohana is about fostering loving and lasting relationships with those closest to us, including family, friends, and our community. As an organization, we strive to implement the value of Ohana into our lives and daily work.
The term “village” is used throughout the organization as a way to identify a group of our Ohanas. This follows Jim Rouse’s vision for the Columbia, MD area with having clusters of neighborhoods known as villages.
Our Core Values
- Students First – The student’s interest must be at the center of everything we do.
- Racial Equity – We center racial equity in all of our work, and we will continue to be contributors to a system that we know can be harmful.
- Continuous Learning – A good teacher is a student for life. Our program is just as much of a growing opportunity for mentors as it is for mentees. It is fair to expect that mentors will learn more about themselves in this experience than their mentee will learn from them, and that is the beauty of mentorship.
- Connection – In order to build strong relationships, we have to connect with others. This opens the door to new spaces that create opportunities for fellowship, volunteerism, learning, and a stronger sense of belonging in a community. How you show up can determine the potential of your experience with OhanaHC.
- Community – There are many unique communities we have the ability to be part of and support. With any space, we must respect the cultures and customs that they come with, and we must be careful to not let our own biases and perceptions interfere.