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November 24, 2015

The Wai‘ale‘ale program encourages non-college bound high school students and adults to continue their education.

Giving “Wouldn’t-Be” Students Ingredients for Success

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Q&A with Jim Lally, the donor behind this transformational program
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Outstanding Results

The groundbreaking Wai‘ale‘ale Project at Kaua‘i CC has garnered outstanding results since its inception in 2010 and has positively impacted the lives of more than 780 Kaua‘i residents ages 18 through 66, many of whom you may know as relatives, friends, employees or neighbors.

Established by a generous private donor, the Wai‘ale‘ale Project encourages and finances non-college bound high school students and adults to attend, and successfully complete, their first year of college. Without this project, these students would not have attended college due to many factors including financial, personal and academic obstacles.

Statistics have shown that, in comparison with those who have never been to college, people who have attended one year of college:  Make 30 percent more money; are 29 percent less likely to be unemployed; and live seven years longer.

Attending just one year of college can be life-changing for individuals and their families.

Having more people with higher education in our community strengthens our workforce, economy and general quality of life.

Since 2010 the Wai‘ale‘ale Project has:

  • Served 786 students, ages 18-66.
  • The Wai‘ale‘ale Project students return for their second year at a rate that is 6% higher than other students.
  • 271 students have received bachelor, associate degrees and/or certifications.
  • 388 degrees/certificates have been awarded.
  • 13 students have received bachelor degrees.
  • 31 students are currently pursuing baccalaureate degrees.
  • 2 students are currently pursuing a masters degree.

Program Fact Sheet Student Feedback

Adopt a Wai‘ale‘ale Student

The average cost for the Wai‘ale‘ale Project to fund a student through their first year at Kauai‘i CC as well as obtaining a degree or certificate is $5,000.

Adopt a Wai‘ale‘ale Student

Make a gift with a check
Please make checks payable to the University of Hawai‘i Foundation. In memo write – Wai‘ale‘ale Adopt-A-Student Fund #12702704

Wai‘ale‘ale Student Feedback

“College had a big effect in my life. I now feel that I can support my family more. This makes me feel more responsible in life.”

“Being in college changed the way I see life because now I know schooling will help me better my life in the future. Before I didn’t see that and now I do. I want to study more and try to go far in life.”

“It’s made me see that things don’t come free or easy; I must work for everything. At the same time I will get as much as what I’m willing to put in. And it’s never too late to succeed. People are out there that care and want to help me succeed. I don’t have to do it alone. Support is available, including financial support, which is amazing.”

“The lessons I learned from being in college is that no matter how old you are, you can go to college and be OK! I’ve become 10X more stressed, but it was a great learning experience. Also was a great way to show my daughter that if mommy studies and reads, so should she. Lead by example.”

“Being in college has made me feel more independent. Self-confident in things I do. Different outlook in my children’s future. Confident that I will be a good parent by completing college.”

“College has made me think of myself as a better person. I want more in life—for me and my kids and through God blessing me with this program, I am able to see the life of me going somewhere in life, doing something.”

“College has made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I now can address all of my problems and apply better ways of resolving them. I can’t believe I waited so long to go back to school. Thanks to this project at 24, I’m finally back in school.”

“Being in college has made me more confident that I am able to handle any situation. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to fit in with the younger students, but I think we both balanced out each other. Just having this opportunity to attend college is big for me.”

“Before I was in the Wai‘ale‘ale Project, my mother told me I had to pay for my own tuition, and with a new baby, I wouldn’t have had the money to go to college. So, I am very thankful to have this program to allow me to attend school and further my education.”

Read about Lisa Rapozo


Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.