Meet Leilā

Leilā Dudley

Program Coordinator

Pilina ʻĀina

Born and raised in the ahupuaʻa of Pāpaʻikou on Hawaiʻi island, Leilā has a strong sense of kuleana (responsibility) to take care of those that came before, encompassing all forms of our ancestors as seen with a Hawaiian worldview: humans, plants, animals, rocks, environmental processes & more. Leilā has a deep passion for aloha ʻāina and was raised dancing hula. In 2013 Leilā received her B.S. in Environmental Science & B.A. in Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. As a student Leilā worked as the Outreach Associate for the ʻAlalā Project and provided support for the ʻImi Pono no ka ʻĀina Education Program where she first got to engage in ʻāina education. Leilā spent 2 years abroad in Paris, Costa Rica and Colombia teaching language. After returning home she served as the Outreach Coordinator for the Nāpuʻu Conservation Project encompassing the ahupuaʻa of Puʻuwaʻawaʻa and Puʻuanahulu where she helped to restore and teach about the dryland forest. She received her M.S. in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science at UH-Hilo in 2020. She is humbled to have had the opportunity to work with a small community-based non-profit called Hui Mālama I ke Ala ʻŪlili as their ʻĀina Education Coordinator for nearly two years, where she got a sense of what it truly means to be a part of an organization & ʻohana grounded in aloha ʻāina and everything it means to be Hawaiʻi. Leilā is now the coordinator for the Teaching Change program and is excited about helping to instill aloha ʻāina values into the students and teachers she works with along with incorporating more Hawaiian language and Hawaiʻi life ways into the program.