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Backpack Giveaway & Goal-Setting Workshop

M.A.L.O. Event to Promote Academic Success for Inland Empire Students

Ontario, CA — SoCal Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team partner M.A.L.O. (Motivating Action Leadership Opportunity) will host its 3rd Annual Ikuna: Backpack Giveaway and Goal-Setting Workshop on Wednesday, July 29, through Zoom.

An annual summer event geared toward Tongan and Pacific Islander students in the Inland Empire, Ikuna promotes school readiness and academic success through dynamic goal-setting workshops. As a bonus, each participant also receives a free backpack for the upcoming school year.

Based in Ontario, M.A.L.O has been working in San Bernardino and Riverside counties for years to preserve and share the beauty of the Tongan culture, create deeper connections in communities, and advocate for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander representation and inclusivity through Census outreach.

Since 2017, the Pacific Islander-led organization has hosted Ikuna as an in-person experience, but this year, in response to the current COVID-19 climate and the impact the disease is having on the NHPI community, M.A.L.O. will offer Ikuna through Zoom.

Thanks to the generosity of its Ontario and Inland Empire community partners, families, and churches, M.A.L.O. exceeded the initial goal of 100 free backpacks and instead will drop off 300 free backpacks on Monday, July 27, to students in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who pre-register. Amazing work!

Pre-registration is limited to 300 participants, so sign up today at

Free backpack delivery is available only to participants in the Inland Empire.

For more information on Ikuna and M.A.L.O., visit

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