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Mara Garcia - Named to the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance Cohort
St. Andrew's Schools

The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership welcomed our Director of Wellness, Ms. Mara Garcia, along with 20 outstanding local women leaders to the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance Cohort 7 this year. The Leadership Alliance is the only program in Hawai‘i designed to enable mid-career women to advance their management and leadership skills in a 10-month program designed for professional women leaders and entrepreneurs who are committed to personal growth, professional impact, and community leadership. Their mission is to “equip women to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders by providing one-on-one business counseling, innovative workshops, and unique specialized programs in a nurturing environment.” 

Mara joined our school community in 2020 as our K-12 Wellness Director. Ms. Garcia serves as our school counselor and champion of social-emotional learning on the Queen Emma Square campus. Mara earned her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Redlands and her Community Counseling from Gonzaga University. She  most recently served as the Wellness Educator at Geffen Academy at UCLA and is delighted to return to O‘ahu where she grew up. Mara cares deeply about developing other compassionate young leaders who are ready to make a difference in the world – something she envisions for all her students here at St. Andrew’s.

“I am thrilled to welcome 21 outstanding women leaders to the seventh Leadership Alliance cohort,” said Colleen McAluney, Director of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership. “It is especially important for us as a community to lift the rising women leaders who represent tomorrow’s future, and we continue to be extremely grateful to our generous supporters who believe in the Mink Leader program.”

The Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance program was named in honor of the late Patsy T. Mink, who was both the first Asian-American woman and the first woman from Hawai‘i to serve in the U.S. Congress. She was renowned for her commitment to proactive leadership and women’s advocacy.

Over 129 Mink Leaders have now graduated the program from diverse fields and industries, including finance, healthcare, technology, law, education, construction, small business, and nonprofits. Throughout the 10-month program, Mink Leaders are able to take part in learning more about a variety of topics including Financial Business Acumen; Community & Civic Impact; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the Power of Persuasion, and Strategic Planning. Mara and other Mink Leaders in her cohort will benefit from valuable expertise offered throughout the program by prominent women leaders and facilitators. The curriculum also includes a community project that allows the cohort to contribute to YWCA O'ahu's mission of empowering women. 

For more information about the Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance, visit