Pa'ia Youth & Cultural Center Staff Bios

Susun White, Executive Director

Susun White, PYCC Executive Director
Aloha! I have been the team leader at the Pa'ia Youth and Cultural Center since 1994. It has been a wonderful adventure and I am grateful to all the youth and community members who have graced our doors. I love teenagers and consider myself blessed to be able to spend the majority of my days within hearing range of their perspective of the planet. Both my children were raised at the PYCC and my husband Gregory has spent many hours tending to the grounds. Throughout the years I have striven to make PYCC a safe loving place that supports and enhances the creativity of all our members. My personal passions are yoga, dance, bike riding, and ocean swimming.

Lauren (Lo) Piazza, StoneWave Skatepark Director

Laura Civitello, PYCC KOPO-LPFM 89.5 radiOpio Program Director
My name is Lo! I'm a graduate from University of Colorado with a degree in Communication. A few months ago I decided to pack two bags and my skateboard and follow my heart to Maui! Skateboarding opened a door I never knew was there and has truly helped shape who I am today. As the StoneWave Skatepark Program Director I create a fun, safe and positive environment that benefits skateboarders of all ages and abilities. Come skate with us!

Laura Civitello, KOPO-LP 88.9FM RadiOpio Program Director

Laura Civitello, PYCC KOPO-LPFM 89.5 radiOpio Program Director
I'm Laura Civitello the Program Director here at radiOpio, Pa'ia Youth and Cultural Center's very own radio station. I've lived and worked as an artist and entertainer on Maui for over twenty years. I discovered my own love of radio as a DJ at non-commercial Manao Radio. I love to share the powerful medium of radio with youth. There's nothing that's more fun than putting our members behind the mic here at 88.9FM! There are lots of interesting ways to be part of radiOpio. PYCC members can learn the basics of engineering their own radio show and share the music they love, their own original music, poetry, ideas, and thoughts with our listening audience, which is growing daily. radiOpio is ready and waiting for YOU to speak out, so come down and help make KOPO-LP 88.9FM the coolest radio station on the planet!

Ben Rachunas, Pa'ia Bay Cafe Program Director

Ben Rachunas, PYCC Pa'ia Bay Cafe & Malama Pono Program Specialist
My name is Benjamin and I graduated from Rowan University where I studied sociology, psychology, and child development. During my many breaks from the university I traveled the country living and working in various communities where I had the opportunity to experience raw and living foods, ayurvedic, and macrobiotic lifestyles. I have come to the PYCC to share my experience of the world's diverse cultures and how they are expressed through the foods we enjoy.

Peter Swanzy, Hekili Multimedia Lab Program Director, PR Director, IT Specialist

Peter Swanzy, PYCC Hekili Multimedia Lab Director
At the PYCC I mentor youth with music, photography, video, audio engineering, Photoshop, graphics, and all things media! I earned my BFA in Music Performance and Composition from the College of Santa Fe. My music and film work has been commissioned, premiered, and presented all over the world. I am currently a working professional photographer, music composer and educator, and media production consultant.

Brandon LaRue, Drop-In and Malama Pono Project Venture Program Specialist

Brandon LaRue, House Host

I was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe California. From one paradise to the next I pursued my dreams and moved to Maui in 2007. I am a profesional photographer with a broad range of artistic interests. I LOVE all sports and recreational activities, golf being one of my favorites. I am devoted to serve Maui's youth with my skills and energy. To inspire a fun, creative and safe environment at the PYCC. To malama the PYCC hale, the keiki and the north shore's ohana is a great honor.

Olivia Alves, Malama Pono Project Venture (MPPV) Program Director

Olivia Alves, MPPV Program Specialist

I was brought to Maui by love and transplanted from country upbringing in Northern California. I studied at Santa Rosa Junior College and Humboldt State University where I received a BA in Child Development. I have worked in a variety of settings with all ages of kids. I continue to love it and learn from every day of it! My passions include: Coaching volleyball, hiking with my dog, water sports, live music, and spending time with ‘ohana. I am truly blessed to be part of the PYCC and will malama opportunity to make a positive impact on our Island's youth.

Julie Copple Palmore, Administrative Assistant, House Host, Database Manager

Julie Copple Palmore, Admin Asst/Youth Worker

Greetings and Blessings. Working with youth is my career, but moreover, it is where my heart and passion lie. I have training in youth and adolescent crisis management, as well as experience monitoring, modeling, and mentoring kids of all ages. I love adventure, the unknown, and learning about different cultures. I am so very thankful to be part of Pa'ia Youth and Cultural Center!