Pilina Education Alliance

Our Story

The standard educational system isn't working for every student. Each year, more and more students disengage from school because their curriculum does not match their passion to improve a world full of big problems. At Pilina, we deliver rigorous educational curriculum through the lens of real-world problems. Since our first cohort of students, we have expanded our offerings to 10 unique programs including AgTech, Sustainability, and Marine Robotics. For each new program, we've onboarded new partners, created custom curriculum, defined success metrics, and collected students and staff feedback to continuously improve and grow our model. 

Founding Team

Our Founding Team spans across various industries - mixing proven methodologies, design thinking, innovation, and passion.
Jessica Stack

Jessica Stack

Partnership and Advancement Coordinator

Expertise in Fundraising, Student Supports and Education Leadership

B.Ed. Elementary Education from UH Manoa

Jimmie Harris

Jimmie Harris

Experience Lead at Pilina 

Former product manager at Oceanit and Education researcher at Stanford d.School

M.S. Design Impact, Stanford University, BS Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Ian Kitajima

Ian Kitajima

Industry Development Lead​

Co-Starter of Aloha AI, Design Thinking Hawaii, Altino Coding 4 Teachers, etc

BBA Marketing & International Business, University of Hawaii

Mary Wenstrom

Mary Wenstrom

Founder of Pilina Education Alliance

Education and Social Entrepreneur & School Leader

Ed.M. School Leadership & School Development, Harvard University

Our Innovation Advisory Council

Our advisory council is made up of incredible leaders in our community who help guide us to achieve our mission

Dr. Monica San Jose

  • Former Chief Operations Officer at Pilina Education
  • Education Leader and Educator for 16 years
  • Doctor of Educational Leadership and Organization Change Management from University of Southern California (USC)

Dr. Maya Soetoro

• Co-Founder, Ceeds of Peace & Institute of Climate and Peace
​• Director of Asia Pacific Region, • The Obama Foundation​​
• Professor, University of Hawai’i- Mānoa

Puanani Burgess

• Community Leader​
• Activist
​​• Poet

Alexander Harris

• Vice President for Programs, Castle Foundation​
• Omidyar Fellow​
​• MPP in Education Policy and Nonprofit Management, Harvard Kennedy School

Dr. Kerrie Urosevich

• Co-Founder, Ceeds of ​Peace
​• Professor, University of Hawai’i- Mānoa
• Action Strategy Coordinator for the Hawai’i Governor’s Office​
​• Omidyar Fellow