Senator Will Espero

Senator Will Espero represents the 19th Senate District, which encompasses ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, and a portion of ‘Ewa Villages. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Hawai‘i State Senate and Vice Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs. He sits as a member of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and the Committee on Economic Development, Environment, and Technology. 

In Hawai‘i, Senator Espero is a member of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board, which coordinates federally funded transportation projects for O‘ahu. He also serves as a member of the State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision, Corrections Population Management Commission, Juvenile Justice Oversight Advisory Council, and the State Capitol Management Committee. 

On the National level, Senator Espero is a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures Standing Committee, which encompasses Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety, and The Council of State Governments Public Safety Committee. 

Senator Espero has served in the Hawai‘i State Legislature for 16 years which included 3 years in the House of Representatives. He also worked for 8 years in the City and County of Honolulu as an appointee of Mayor Frank Fasi.

Allison Paynter, Ph.D

Associate Professor of English, Allison E. Paynter, served as chair of the English department from 2006-2009, and was instrumental in re-formulating the curriculum. Gender, ethnicity, poetry and dance are recurring themes in her various guest lectures and published articles. As an engaged professor, Dr. Francis teaches the craft of writing to undergraduates every year in her classes. She fosters a sense of why good writing is important, through classes that are designed to be both fun and challenging. Dr. Paynter notes, "My students say I’m strict, but never boring," because she expects them to develop respect for the writing process, and to always do their best. Since Dr. Paynter believes the spoken word is as important as the written word, she is a performance poet who performs at many venues in the state. She also is the facilitator for Aulama, the Chaminade student literary journal. Her chapter on black female writers in the 19th century marketplace will appear in the upcoming literary anthology, Imag(in)ing America: The Black Body in Literature.

  • Haitian Studies Association (HSA)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
  • Pacific Ancient & Modern Language Association (PAMLA)
Academic Degrees
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, Thesis: "When The 'Unprotected' Body Speaks: The Narratives of Nineteenth Century Black Females in the Caribbean and the United States"
M.A., Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
B. A., University of California, Berkeley in English Literature

Born and raised in Hawaii, Tiffany Thurston, has been touring throughout the Continental U.S. for the last three and a half years with the Revolve Tour ( and Christian Recording Artist, Natalie Grant (! She released her first independent record in September 2007, titled, L.I.F.E. (Love, Inspire, Forgive, & Eternity) store-wide in the islands as well as on the Internet (iTunes, DigStation, & CD Baby to name a few.

Being a mixed make-up of Hawaiian, Portuguese, Chinese, English, Irish, German, Tahitian, and French, Tiffany has a unique look and sound that transcends the international borders. She has a heart to see music influence the world in a way that makes an eternal impact!

This latest project, WORSHIP w/Tiffany Thurston, was recorded in Nashville, TN in the summer of 2010 with some of her favorite musicians. After leading worship across the United States for the past few years she felt that she needed to capture what she was doing in recorded form to be used as a resource and refreshment for churches, communities, and various cities that she travelled to. Co-produced with Richie Pena (Drummer/Programmer/Producer extraordinaire, whom also plays drums for BabyFace & Natalie Grant to name a few) along with other all-stars like Bernie Herms (Producer/Songwriter, 2009 Producer of the Year, Dove Awards, lent his piano expertise on Track 7), Trevor Morgan (Guitars / BGV’s), Adrian Walther (Bass), and Matt Stanfield (Keys on Tracks 1-6). Mixed in Nashville by Dave Dillbeck (some credits include: Boyz II Men, Disney, & various Christian Artists) and Mastered at Sterling Sound in NYC by Chris Athens (whose diverse credits include Coldplay, India Arie, the Neptunes, and Ben Folds to name a few) she is beyond honored to have partnered with each “player” on this album.

This Worship EP is a collection of Tiffany’s top seven cover songs in the worship world right now that she believes can cross any cultural border line. These are songs that have spoken to her heart and songs that she’s seen move in the lives of many others. She hopes that these renditions will renew, refresh, and remind you of the Truth and Hope we have in Christ. “After all, once we leave this place we’ll be worshipping around the clock, so why not start now?

Non-profit for trafficking founded by Christian Artist/Songwriter, Natalie Grant.

Teen pregnancy

The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually.

Thirty-four percent of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 -- about 820,000 a year. Eight in ten of these teen pregnancies are unintended and 79 percent are to unmarried teens.

The teen birth rate has declined slowly but steadily from 1991 to 2002 with an overall decline of 30 percent for those aged 15 to 19. These recent declines reverse the 23-percent rise in the teenage birth rate from 1986 to 1991. The largest decline since 1991 by race was for black women. The birth rate for black teens aged 15 to 19 fell 42 percent between 1991 to 2002. Hispanic teen birth rates declined 20 percent between 1991 and 2002. The rates of both Hispanics and blacks, however, remain higher than for other groups. Hispanic teens now have the highest teenage birth rates. Most teenagers giving birth before 1980 were married whereas most teens giving birth today are unmarried.

The younger a teenaged girl is when she has sex for the first time, the more likely she is to have had unwanted or non-voluntary sex. Close to four in ten girls who had first intercourse at 13 or 14 report it was either non-voluntary or unwanted.

Teenage Pregnancy Consequences

Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30. Teen mothers are more likely to end up on welfare (nearly 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare).

The children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

The sons of teen mothers are 13 percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22 percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention
The primary reason that teenage girls who have never had intercourse give for abstaining from sex is that having sex would be against their religious or moral values. Other reasons cited include desire to avoidpregnancy, fear of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and not having met the appropriate partner. Three of four girls and over half of boys report that girls who have sex do so because their boyfriends want them to.

Teenagers who have strong emotional attachments to their parents are much less likely to become sexually active at an early age and less likely to have a teen pregnancy.

Most people say teens should remain abstinent but should have access to contraception. Ninety-four percent of adults in the United States-and 91 percent of teenagers-think it important that school-aged children and teenagers be given a strong message from society that they should abstain from sex until they are out of high school. Seventy-eight percent of adults also think that sexually active teenagers should have access to contraception to prevent teenpregnancy.

Contraceptive use among sexually active teens has increased but remains inconsistent. Three-quarters of teens use some method of contraception (usually a condom) the first time they have sex. A sexually active teen who does not use contraception has a 90 percent chance of teen pregnancy within one year.

Parents rate high among many adolescents as trustworthy and preferred information sources on birth control. One in two teens say they "trust" their parents most for reliable and complete information about birth control, only 12 percent say a friend.

Teens who have been raised by both parents (biological or adoptive) from birth, have lower probabilities of having sex than youths who grew up in any other family situation. At age 16, 22 percent of girls from intact families and 44 percent of other girls have had sex at least once. Similarly, teens from intact, two-parent families are less likely to give birth in their teens than girls from other family backgrounds.

Teen Pregnancy information obtained from The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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