Maui News

113 Graduate From Aloha House Residential Treatment Program

February 1, 2019, 10:42 AM HST
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Michele Navarro Ishiki and John Cruz at Aloha House Graduation Ceremony

A total of 113 individuals were recognized during a graduation ceremony hosted by local nonprofit, Aloha House on Sunday, Jan. 24, at Makawao Union Church’s Community Hall.

The graduates completed residential substance abuse treatment between June 3, 2018 and Dec. 15, 2018.

Friends and family of graduates joined the festivities to honor their loved ones’ accomplishments.

Aloha House promotes recovery and healthy lifestyles to individuals and families by providing compassionate and comprehensive behavioral health services with the spirit of aloha.

Organization leaders say the Residential Treatment Program, located upcountry, provides a structured living environment for those who need a real “time-out” from their daily lives in order to deal with their addiction issues.


The program provides nursing care, individual, group and family counseling and therapy, psychological services, case management, recovery education, discharge planning and assistance in developing sober support in the community.


The ceremony included speeches by two Aloha House alumni as well as by multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award recipient and Grammy Award winner John Cruz. Cruz, who was born and raised in Pālolo Valley on the island of Oʻahu, is open about his struggles with addiction. During the event Cruz also performed a few of his songs.

“We were honored to have John share his message of hope with our graduates, current residents and attendees in today’s celebration,” said Michele Navarro Ishiki, Aloha House Residential Treatment Program Director. “Sharing your deepest and darkest moments takes courage, and it brings a sense of hope to and others that they can come back from their struggles too. Drugs and alcohol do not discriminate, and neither does recovery. We mahalo John for sharing his experience, strength, hope and also his beautiful music.”

During the event, counselors announced each graduate by name, presented them with a certificate and lei and said a few words about the journey of their client and the wishes they have for that person. CJ Hoʻokano and Poi by the Pound donated food for the celebration luncheon.

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