Leadership Development

MALO works to empower the youth in the community through various leadership workshops, providing a space for them to engage in meaningful discussions about their cultural identities and the issues they believe should be addressed. Through these opportunities, MALO encourages NHPI youth to use their voice and become active leaders in their communities.

Explore our leadership development programs below:

MALO Youth Empowerment Summit (YES)

MALO Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) aims to create a safe environment for empowering Tongan youth to feel confident in becoming leaders in their communities, holding the space to allow them to explore their cultural identities and reflect on issues they’ve seen that they don’t think have been properly addressed. Topics and focuses can vary with each year.

Summer 2021

MALO hosted their first youth leadership development program: MALO Youth Empowerment Summit (YES). Having both a virtual and an in-person component, MALO YES occurred over three days. During these three days, the participants were able to get to know one another and engage with each other physically, become more knowledgable and grounded in their Tongan identity, recognize the importance of health and the health issues present in their communities and at home, and think about the work they can do to help their community.

MALO Scholarship

This scholarship award of $1000 aims to help support a graduating high school senior in their upcoming pursuits. The recipients are nominated by MALO staff. With its first ever scholarship given out in 2022, MALO aims for this scholarship to become an annual staple of what they do.


To be eligible for the MALO scholarship you must:

  • Be a graduating high school senior
  • Have volunteered with MALO and/or involved with MALO programs
  • Be reflective of MALO’s value in leadership (motivation, action, leadership, and opportunities they take on or help bring fulfillment for our community)

Scholarship Recipients

2022: Fonofa Mafi

Fonofa Mafi graduated from Arroyo Valley High School in 2022. During her time in school, she was involved in NHS and the Singing Hawks Club. Outside of school, she’s involved with the United Methodist Church of Colton, where she describes as her home. she has also been involved with MALO, such as volunteering at the MALO Food Drive and assisting the work that the Community Health Workers (CHW) do.

Fonofa plans to use her scholarship to pursue her education at Sia’atoutai Theological School in Tonga with hopes of becoming a minister. After completing her education at Sia’atoutai Theological School, she intends on returning to the United States for her Masters. She wants to thank her grandma Lakalaka for supporting and encouraging Fonofa in everything that she does. She would also like to thank MALO for the opportunity and motivation they gave her, as well as supporting her family during the toughest times.