Maui Economic Opportunity’s Alex Domingo accepted a national award for improving the lives of children and families through her work in early childhood education.
Last month, Domingo was awarded the 2023 National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Asian Interest Forum Outstanding Achievement Award in Nashville, Tenn.
Domingo has served on the board of the Hawai’i Association for the Education of Young Children for eight years – the last three years as president – and is assistant director of MEO’s Early Childhood Services department.
She was nominated for the award by Terry Lock and Elaine Yamashita, leaders in the early childhood education field at UH-Maui College and in the community.
She was selected for the award for her “outstanding professionalism, integrity and commitment to improving the lives of many children, families, and the Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Asian immigrant early childhood education workforce in Hawai‘i’s communities,” her announcement letter said.
The award ceremony “to celebrate the achievements of an extraordinary educator in the field of early childhood education” was held Nov. 16 at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference in Nashville.
The NAEYC AIF, founded by a group of passionate and dedicated early childhood education practitioners a decade ago, promotes equity and access and places an emphasis on addressing the needs of poor, underserved Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Asian immigrant families and their children.
It was Yamashita who encouraged Domingo to take an open MEO Head Start child care assistant position in 2004. She earned her associate’s degree in early childhood education in 2007 and her bachelor’s degree in 2020.
Domingo moved up the ranks from child care assistant to teacher aide to lead teacher to assistant director of Early Childhood Services in December 2014.
MEO operates Head Start preschool facilities on Maui and Moloka‘i, offering early childhood education at no cost to low income families. Currently, Head Start has an enrollment of about 180, 3 and 4 year olds.
MEO Early Childhood Services also operates the Kahi Kamali‘i Infant Toddler Center at the J. Walter Cameron Center.
For more information about Head Start or Kahi Kamali‘i, call 808-249-2988.