Hi! My name is Rylee Brooke Kamahele, I am 13 years old,
Rylee’s platform is to turn youth into leaders and to create change in the world by inspiring other kids. She works towards building this platform through her soon-to-be non-profit organization, The Catalyst Club and the many projects run under its three programs; The Love is a Verb Foundation, The Secret Santa Project Hawaii, and Promise to our Keiki. Rylee currently partners and works with over 20 different organizations in Hawaii that serve the community in different ways.
Rylee’s programs have been running successfully in Hawaii communities and doing some big things since 2016. She is finally in the process of applying for 501c3 status, something that has been put on hold while she piloted her programs and decided how to structure her complex organizations and the way they are set up to be managed by youth. The Love is a Verb Foundation, The Secret Santa Project Hawaii, and Promise to our Keiki are basically their own organizations, however, rather than creating three separate nonprofits, the decision was made to establish them all as free-standing programs under one umbrella nonprofit organization, The Catalyst Club.
The Secret Santa Project Hawaii:
Rylee’s first organization is called The Secret Santa Project Hawaii. She founded this project with her friend, Kadence Fergerstrom. Their mission is to bring Christmas to Hawaii’s houseless children and children in need. They run a year round donation drive to collect gifts and needs, then they do direct outreach during Christmas where they spend time with the children in shelters, camps, or programs. Their main objective is to reach the kids who other bigger, established programs are not able to. As a kid-run organization, they accept volunteers of all ages. Their youngest volunteer to date was 2 years old and they allow their volunteers to take part in many aspects of the program.
In 2017, they adopted two shelters and one youth outreach program where they were able to provide gifts for 12 kids in two Women in Need domestic violence shelters, 148 kids from Ohana Ola’s transitional housing shelter, and 262 kids from Life 360, a program that works with youth from all of Oahu’s major low-income housing facilities. They collected over 650 donations and we were able to provide gifts for all 422 kids in need. With their surplus of donations, they were also able to give out prizes for games and set up tables with books, clothing, and other items to freely giveaway to the kids and their families. Their outreach really wanted to provide a Christmas experience for the kids, so they didn’t just deliver the gifts, they spent time at the shelters and provided food, played games and held contests, did read alouds, had performances, and made Christmas tree ice cream cones. They also had kids volunteer under a project run by the Love is a Verb Foundation called Team Hawaii Takeover. The Team Hawaii Takeover performance outreach team sang and danced for the families and also got the kids there to participate with them.
In 2018, The Secret Santa Project adopted the Waianae Civic Center shelter, Women in Need shelter, and Life 360. With the surplus of generous donations, they were able to provide an even bigger and better Christmas experience for the kids and even had enough gifts to give the families at the Family Assessment Shelter. They were able to provide Kona Ice shave ice trucks, Slush Puppy slush machines, tickets to Extreme 7D rides, food, and a large supply of hygiene products for each program. They also had prize donations to get the kids to participate in games and activities. The families had an amazing time creating Christmas tree ice cream cones, making slime, and playing the many games the youth leaders organized.
Love is a Verb Foundation:
Rylee’s second program is called the Love is a Verb Foundation. Her mission is to build kids into leaders. She does this by both teaming up with other non-profit organizations and training kids to volunteer with them under a team leader’s supervision, and by providing opportunities under the programs that she and her team run for kids. They give youth the chance to take what they love and turn what they are passionate about into action through training, education, community service, internships, mentorship, experience in running the programs in which they are involved, and eventually a leadership program where they can start their own initiatives, projects, businesses, or organizations.
Under the Love is a Verb Foundation, there are 12 projects, 7 of which are operating and have had some major accomplishments. The biggest accomplishment for The Plastics Project, the program to reduce to overuse of single use plastics, was their first annual kid-involved beach cleanup that consisted of 10 kid volunteers and we removed 771 lbs of trash and marine debris from Malaekahana. The Hashtag Speak Up Movement, a program to advocate for animals, helped fight for several bills and assisted in the process of getting them passed. They were also responsible for coordinating and organizing the removal of over 200 animals from the Nimitz homeless camp sweep. Rylee was personally at the camp for a week with teams of animal rescuers while her team manned their Facebook page that had over 30,000 hits after they reached out for help. Thanks to the help of the four animal rescues that they worked with, they were able to place the cats, dogs, and guinea pigs from the camp first into foster homes, and then into permanent homes. Heart for Hawaii is a program to help provide food and necessities to Hawaii’s people in need. Rylee launched Heart for Hawaii during Thanksgiving of 2017 and helped prepare food plates for over 300 of Hawaii’s homeless people. Her team passed them out at different homeless camps and parks. They also provided a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner for the families of Kapiolani Hospital’s NICU and PICU. Team Hawaii Takeover is an elite performance outreach group. Kids participating in Team Hawaii Takeover helped with performances during outreach at shelters, Shriners, Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii, and various community events. Alohi Strong is a program to help kids with illnesses by doing book drives for hospitals, assisting at events, and doing various outreach that impacts children with illnesses. BRAVE Bear’s Travels is a global anti-bullying program that sends a bear around the world to work against bullying. Participants in this program have a list of things they must do while Brave Bear is in their possession. The program also shares information about anti-bullying programs in the areas the bear travels to. The Mogul in the Making Inititative, is a program where Rylee’s team assists youth who have graduated through the LIAV leadership program in building their own projects, entrepreneur ventures, or organizations. She is currently assisting Alyssa Kapeliela, a teen leader, in building a program called T.I.M.E. 2 C.H.A.N.G.E. Hawaii. Their mission is to teach self-love, inspire, motivate, and empower to create new hope and goals for everyone with an emphasis on there are 2 sides to every story. They have structured a unique anti-bullying program that they plan to take into Hawaii elementary schools where they focus on instilling a better understanding on bullying and have a random act of kindness activity for kids to participate in. They have already begun piloting this program in schools and are working with a producer on storyboarding and producing a film that will be presented at schools.
Rylee is currently structuring Mission x Evolve, a program to provide a support system for children in the LGBTQ community, Book Bus Hawaii, a program to provide outreach through reading, Goals in Reach, a sports outreach program, LIAV Media Makers, a media and arts program, and the Be the Change Fair, a program she plans to pitch to the Hawaii Department of Education to bring into Hawaii Schools to inspire youth to get involved in their communities.
In addition to the work Rylee does in the community, she is working on piloting two programs in Hawaii Schools. Team Hawaii Takeover has teamed up with Diverse Arts and is currently working on a school tour in elementary schools that promotes anti-bullying through performance, how your purpose is tied to your passion, and about staying true to yourself. The play and performance will tour schools across Oahu and focuses on saying yes to purpose. The proposal for the Be the Change Fair is a pilot to have a community fair similar to a career day, but to bring nonprofit organizations in to schools to teach youth what they do, why their work is important, and how they can help or get involved. The goal is to help youth find their passion, inspire change and new innovative ideas, and get youth involved in the community.
Promise to Our Keiki:
The Promise to Our Keiki program was created with Rylee’s friend, Leah Dakroub. This program will focus on creating young leaders all around the world that educate other kids and adults about the effects humans are having on the planet, including climate change, animals becoming endangered or going extinct, overproduction of animals for human consumption, pollution and run off, and other man-made problems that are currently plaguing the world. Their vision is to travel and advocate for change through education and to create documentaries produced by youth that promotes change and educates.
Rylee Brooke is the Director of Keiki Community Relations, Team Leader of Junior Volunteers for K9 Kokua and also acts as their spokesmodel for media coverage. Under her official title, she coordinates her own community service projects on K9 Kokua’s behalf and organizes and manages other children who volunteer.
Rylee also serves as an ambassador for One Ocean Global where she does work for ocean conservation, shark conservation, and to reduce plastic pollution.
Rylee is also leading two teams of youth to create a youth and young adult church service called Life Under Construction at Kawaiaha’o Church. These services begin in September 2019.
Rylee Brooke is currently the youngest radio DJ in Hawaii, hosting her own show called Rise Up Radio. Rise Up Radio is all about giving youth a voice. Her radio show features guest co-hosts, interviews, and spotlights local, undiscovered or up and coming talent.
Rylee is an entrepreneur and founded two companies, Brookie B and Glamour Kitty Collective, both run under Ry’s Company, LLC. For Brookie B, Rylee designs, handcrafts, and sells a line of jewelry, lip balms, lip scrubs, hats, and hair clips. She is currently rebranding Glamour Kitty, her company that retails unique clothing and accessories and provides training services for girls in pageantry and runway walking. She also heads a division known as “The Kitten Club” where she manages and trains selected models for runway and choreographs and directs runway shows.
Rylee recently started directing and producing two shows through Olelo Community Media with a team of her friends that is airing on television. One of those shows, Remember My Name, You’ll Be Seeing It, is run by Asher Morgado, Kaylee Brooke Shimizu, and Rylee Brooke and it showcases Hawaii's talented youth. In addition to their own production, Rylee hosts a television segment on KHON’s established local talk show, Living 808, to give their guests further exposure and hopefully more opportunities. The For Kids By Kids Show is a show created by the Remember My Name team and features over 70 of Hawaii’s extraordinarily talented kids that Rylee put together. Their motto is, “It's our ideas, our voices, our show!” This show will be a platform for their team to share what's important to them and to use their creativity to express themselves in many ways.
Modeling and Acting:
Rylee has been fortunate enough to work in Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and Florida doing modeling and acting. She started in runway when she was 8 years old and found a passion for acting along the way. She has done television shows, commercials, print ads, and runway and one of her favorite memories was walking in New York Fashion Week in 2016.
Rylee has been so blessed with the opportunity to host three local TV Shows; Brown Bags to Stardom, a statewide talent show program that has been around for years and has been a starting point for many Hawaii stars, a globally televised show called Hot Rock TV, and local news station KHON’s morning talk show, Living 808, where she creates the content for and hosts her own segment for Remember My Name, and, has recently been asked to be a regularly featured co-host.
Rylee is an activist and spends a lot of time lobbying for bills that are important for her generation and the work that she does. She fights for much needed change, especially for animals and ocean conservation, and she loves that she gets to be a voice in a place where not many children know they can be heard.
The Promise to our Keiki Bill:
The Promise to our Keiki Bill was created and written by Leah Dakroub and Rylee Brooke. They are currently working on making amendments to this bill to resubmit it next legislative session as is sadly did not make it through 2019. The bill will make it mandatory, by law, for all incoming flights to Hawaii to do three things. 1. Play an educational PSA video on all incoming flights that educates our visitors about Hawaii’s endangered and endemic wildlife and the laws pertaining to them, plastic pollution and ocean conservation, ocean and hiking safety, respecting cultural sites, and preserving our land and natural resources.
Rylee Brooke has represented the state of Hawaii as Miss Hawaii Elementary America 2016 and most recently as Miss Hawaii Pre-Teen United States 2018 where she made it into the top 10 at nationals.
Rylee loves to design clothing! She designed her last 3 pageant gowns and even helped in the creation process of each. She is looking forward to helping other little girls bring their dream dresses to life one day under a program she is creating called Princess Productions.
When she is not working, Rylee is a flyer and tumbler in the All Star Cheer, High Intensity Athletics. She also takes boxing, Muay Thai, is a professional emcee at events, contortionist, and she has started taking acrobatics, aerial ring, and silks skills, as well as dance classes. She volunteers as often as possible at her former elementary school, Kipapa, and also works with 808 Viral as an influencer with her friend, Raiden Barrientos, through their segment, Let’s Make Aloha Viral.
Rylee has a total of 18 pets! She has 4 dogs, 5 cats, a pigeon, a parakeet, a cockatoo, a red bellied conure, 3 mice, a fighting fish, and a tortoise. Her pets are rescues and most of them are special needs and require special care. Rylee rescues and rehabilitates animals on a regular basis. She has always been an active animal rescuer and has rehabilitated, fostered, and helped animals all her life.