Mahealani Sims-Tulba wrote and
illustrated a children’s book geared for grades K-3 titled It’s Okay To Be
Different. “The story is about a mynah bird who is different than all of
the other mynah birds,” Sims-Tulba explains, “so everyone teases her. She goes
to her friend the owl, who tells her, ‘It is OK to be different, and no matter
what, you should embrace yourself.’
“I wanted to help tell kids at a
young age that bullying is definitely not OK,” she says.
But championing against bullying is just one facet of Mahealani Sims-Tulba's community outreach. The Ewa Beach resident, who is the daughter of local comedian Augie T, also serves food and reads to children once a month at the Waikiki Health Center homeless shelter.
“I know girls who can’t afford
prom dresses, so I just wanted to help out,” says Sims-Tulba.
Sims-Tulba also was appointed as
a representative for the Hawaii State Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture,
and Health program, which is designed to establish extracurricular programs in
For her myriad of efforts,
Sims-Tulba recently was recognized by the state Senate and Lt. Gov. Shan
Tsutsui for excellence in community service. She has also
represented the state as Miss Hawaii Jr. High School America in the national
pageant, where she won the community service award.
“When I help out and see the
smiles on people’s faces, it just makes me feel like I have done something good
for these people, something to make them happy,” she says. “I just want to
continue volunteering, and I just want to keep making changes in people’s