We started as a small food pantry, distributing food to our community members in need. As we became aware of food security issues around the country, we noticed that one demographic with a big need was being overlooked. College students on campuses across the country were dropping out or falling behind in their academic endeavors due to hunger. Although there is individual effort being made and campus pantries are springing up to address this issue, there is a lack of comprehensive effort to tackle this problem. So we established Khan Ohana Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization to do just that, and more.
Empower and uplift marginalized communities in order to help them achieve self-sufficiency and lifelong success.
To end generational poverty.
- To provide resources that aid in meeting basic necessities.
- To provide education to develop life sustaining skills.
- To build support systems and resource centers that will provide information for entrepreneurship opportunities.
founding member and President of the board
Michael, a native of Tulsa and graduate of Oklahoma State University, believes in community activism for solving problems. He lived for a time in Hawaii where the concept of extended, or intentional family called Ohana is strong. “Ohana includes everyone you love and it means leaving no one behind.” This forms the basis of our name.
Hailing from Atlanta, GA, but local to Tulsa, Sabiel is a graduate from Tulsa Community College and Oklahoma State University. While in college she faced a great deal of challenges, but was able to overcome them. This led to her desire to want to help others who also struggle with continuing post-secondary education. Currently, Sabiel works with City Year, where she works with a team focused on near-to-peer mentoring. She says, "I'm committed to a life of service by making a difference in the lives of others in any way I can."
Crystal, a member of the Oglala Lakota/ Oglala Sioux Nation, mom and college student, knows first-hand the challenges faced by each of these demographics. She is also the manager of a food pantry, and is well versed in food security issues. “I want to make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling to improve their situation.”
Amber, a native Tulsan, graduated with a law degree from Hofstra University. She settled in New York where she had a thriving legal career. Her strong desire to give back to the community she was raised in motivated her to accept a teaching position at McLain High School and move back to Tulsa. Amber is keenly aware of the difficulties facing graduating high school students who often lack access to basic necessities of life. She says" I believe in the constant struggle to help others in any way that I am capable, so I have joined with Khan Ohana to do just that!"
Sara is the Director of Capacity, Sustainability, and Grants with YouthPower365 and the Vail Valley Foundation. She was formerly Strategic Director of Integreat! a community service organization in Eagle County, Colorado. She has also worked at the Community Food Bank of North Eastern Oklahoma and YWCA, Tulsa. Sara is enthusiastic about being associated with Khan Ohana. "I am great at growing budding organizations” she says.