Rep. Jeanne Kapela was born in Kona and raised on a small coffee farm in the nearby town of Captain Cook.
She graduated from Konawaena High School in 2012 and currently serves as a member of the Kona Coffee
Cultural Festival board of directors, Lions Club of Kona member, and communications chair for Konawaena
High School's 100th Anniversary Committee.
Previously, Jeanne was a member of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association board of directors and Director
of the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition. She founded Unite Hawai'i in 2015, an organization
devoted to ending sexual exploitation through education.
Today, she serves as the prevention education coordinator for Imua Alliance, a nonprofit service
provider for victims of sex trafficking. As a leader in Hawai'i's efforts to combat sexual slavery,
she has facilitated anti-violence education programming to over 2,000 of Hawai'i's children and
worked tirelessly to provide freedom and justice to women and children affected by sexual violence.
Jeanne grew up in poverty and is committed to uplifting working families like the one in which she
was raised. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, where she strives to
deliver the schools our keiki deserve. Jeanne believes that economic and social justice are essential
to our democracy. She is eager to craft a Green New Deal that protects people and our planet from the
twin threats of economic inequality and climate change.
Jeanne is also a classically trained ballet dancer and has performed with some of the nation's most
prestigious ballet companies, including Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the American Ballet Academy.
She served as Miss Hawai'i 2015 and won the title of Miss Congeniality at the Miss America competition.