Faculty & Staff

HELP Staff Members

The people who teach and work at HELP come from a wide background of language use and experience. Our close affiliation with the renowned Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi makes us a solid choice for ESL/EFL learning, but it is our teachers and staff members that truly make us a unique institution. We simply think we have the best of the best!

HELP Director Joel Weaver

Joel Weaver – Director

I was born and grew up in Kinshasa, Congo in central Africa. I came to Hawaii in 1986 to get my Master’s degree in teaching English, and have taught English at all levels in Africa, Micronesia, California, and Hawaii. I have been a teacher trainer, materials developer and language school administrator as well. Here at HELP, I am honored to lead a wonderful team of teachers and administrators who pour their hearts and minds into providing an absolutely incredible experience for all who come here to study. In my free time, I like spending time with my family and enjoying the ocean and other natural wonders of Hawaii. Come join us here in paradise–the most remote and most beautiful islands in the world. My staff and I are eager to give you the chance of a lifetime to learn English and store up golden memories to carry home!
HELP Assistant Director Christine Guro

Christine Guro – Assistant Director

I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois, but I’ve been living in Hawaii for more than 30 years so it’s definitely my home. During my years here, however, I spent time in Japan to teach English. When I returned, I got a Masters Degree in ESL from UHM. I enjoy all aspects of ESL as an instructor, teacher trainer and administrator. In my spare time, I like to read mystery novels, watch CSI on TV, and go to the movies (almost) every weekend. I hope you will come to Hawai‘i and discover a wonderful place that is different from anywhere on earth. The warm sun, the friendly people, and the unique nature make Oahu an island paradise. Of course, HELP is the best place to learn English with its great staff, talented teachers, energetic students, and a friendly atmosphere. Aloha!
HELP Office Manager and Registrar Kimberly Imamura

Kimberly Imamura – Registrar & Front Office Manager

Aloha! I was born and raised here in sunny Hawaii on the Leeward side of Oahu. I graduated with a BBA in Human Resource Management from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a minor in Japanese. For three years, I was a participant on the JET program in snowy Nagano, Japan, where I taught English to Elementary and Jr. High school students. Upon returning to Hawaii, I received my Masters of Education in Educational Administration for Higher Education. Here in Hawaii, I love hiking, shopping, and karaoke. Where there’s snow, I love snowboarding, and at HELP, I love helping out students! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to drop by the Front Office and we will do our best to “HELP” you out.

Chris Folan – Housing Coordinator

Coming soon!
HELP Service Learning Coordinator and Instructor Sandra Iwamura

Sandra Iwamura – Service Learning Coordinator & Instructor

I was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. I graduated from the University of Hawaii and have a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies and TESL. After graduating from UH, I got a chance to work in Japan for 3 years, specifically in Saga Prefecture. It was a great experience to work in a foreign country! I’ve had many jobs in my life, but teaching English is the most rewarding because of all the great friendships I’ve made throughout the years! Sports is my passion, but I also enjoy doing yard work and eating! Running and soccer are my favorite things to do on the weekend! I’m proud to call Hawaii my home and would love to share it with you someday at HELP!
HELP Internship Coordinator and Instructor Gina Redila

Gina Redila – Internship Coordinator & Instructor

I was born in the Philippines, moved to Guam when I was 3, came to Hawaii at 17, and have lived here a little over 30 years. I have a BA in Humanities, with a specialization in English Literature. I got my MA in Adult Education and Training from the University of Phoenix, and a second MA in TESOL from Hawaii Pacific University. I have been with HELP since 2013, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! In my free time, I like to spend time with my family every chance I get, and of course, cooking for others when I can. As a former ESL learner, I was inspired by the dedication of several English teachers so I decided to be like them and “help” others learn English. HELP is surrounded by awesome instructors and staff. E komo mai!
HELP Instructor Michael Bischoff

Michael Bischoff – Instructor

Aloha! My hometown is Chicago, which is the third-largest city in the United States. It’s well-known for its extreme climate; the winters are very cold and the summers are very hot. Hawaii, on the other hand, is warm and pleasant all year! I enjoy travel, eating good food, enjoying the beautiful nature of Hawaii, and most of all I like to exercise and be fit. My favorite sport is triathlon, so you may see me swimming, bicycling, or running around the island! I came here in 2006 to the University of Hawaii at Manoa to get my bachelor’s degree, and after graduating in 2009 I moved to Japan for a one year to teach English. Teaching there was a wonderful experience, so I decided that I wanted to learn more about how to become a better teacher, and I got my master’s degree in second language studies. As a teacher at HELP, I love seeing my students succeed and reach their dreams. The rest of our teachers and staff are amazing and helpful people, so I hope that you will come join our wonderful ohana!
HELP Instructor Grace Choi

Grace Choi – Instructor

I am originally from Korea, and I have lived in Hawaii for 10 years. I got my MA in Second Language Studies with a specialization in second language acquisition in 2005 and the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Second Language Studies (AGC) in 2006 from UH. I have taught English at HELP since 2004, and I really feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful program. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family and go to different places of Hawaii. Hawaii is a perfect place to live and HELP is in the center of Hawaii. Please come join us and become a part of our HELP family.
HELP Instructor Cade Christensen

Cade Christensen – Instructor

Originally from Washington D.C., I’ve lived in Hawaii for over 10-years. I received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Hawaii (1989), an M.S. in Ministry from Pepperdine University (1994) and spent over twenty years teaching in non-profit organizations in Alabama, Washington state and here in Honolulu. In 2018, I graduated from Cambridge University’s CELTA training program and began working at HELP as an ESL-Instructor. I really enjoy meeting and interacting with students from around the world and seeing them grow as both English speakers and as unique and well-rounded individuals. When not in the classroom, you’ll find me at the beach swimming, riding my bike around town, reading and sipping coffee at a local café, or spending meaningful time with my wife and friends. I hope you’ll join us in Hawaii and be a part of our amazing student community at HELP. You’ll have the experience of a lifetime!
HELP Instructor Daniel Holden

Daniel Holden – Instructor

Aloha! I’m originally from the countryside of New York State, and I lived there until I was 22 years old. I graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Writing and Journalism. When I was an undergraduate student, I didn’t have a chance to study abroad, so I decided to work as teacher in Matsumoto, Japan. My plan was to stay for only one year, but I ended staying for 4 years in total! After that, I wanted to improve my teaching skills, so I started my Masters program at UHM, studying Second Language Studies. During my time as a student, I had opportunities to teach many international students, both on campus and throughout Honolulu. I graduated from both my CELTA course at HELP and my Masters program in 2016, and worked at a lecturer in Vietnam and Japan for two years. Most recently, I’m thrilled to be back in Hawaii as a PhD student, and working as an instructor at HELP. In my spare time (when I’m taking a break from my studies), I’m usually cooking with my wife, or watching something on Netflix! I hope that you will have as many amazing experiences in Hawaii as I have, and I’m confident that you’ll find that HELP is the best place to study English and make some unforgettable memories!
HELP Instructor Kristen Urada

Kristen Urada – Instructor

Aloha! I was born and raised right here on Oahu. I used to live in Kaneohe, but now I live in Aiea. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) degree in Japanese and Biology in 2015 and again in 2016 with a BA in Second Language Studies. In 2018, I graduated with my Master of Arts degree in Second Language Studies with a specialization in Language Education. In my free time, I love to spend time with my animals, which include dogs, a rabbit, and a turtle. My hobby includes eating at different restaurants and cafes! I hope you enjoy the restaurants and cafes as much as I do during your studies 🙂

Front Office Staff

Yeojin J. / Christopher S. / Emi W.