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  • Wai'ale'ale Project and Early College Program Students

Kaua'i - The Chan Zuckerberg family is building on their support of Kaua'i CC students with a new donation to support the Wai'ale'ale Project and Early College Program.

Dr. Priscilla Chan said, “We appreciate that the Wai'ale'ale Project and Early College Program reduce financial and other barriers to accessing post-secondary education for Kaua'i students.” Chan continued, “The statistics on and results garnered in both of these programs are very impressive. We are happy to support this important work that transforms lives.”

Background on the The Wai‘ale‘ale Project

The Wai‘ale‘ale Project at Kaua‘i CC is a special program for Kaua'i and Ni'ihau residents. It encourages non-college bound high school students and adults to attend, and successfully complete, their first year of college.

The program reduces barriers to entering and succeeding in college by providing comprehensive support to students up to the attainment of an Associate’s Degree.  It was established in 2010 by a generous donor who is passionate about encouraging individuals who had no plans to attend college, to pursue their education.

Changing lives for the better! Since 2010, the Wai‘ale‘ale Project has:

  • Served 701 students, ages 18-66.
  • 222 students have received bachelor, associate degrees and/or certifications.
  • 379 degrees/certificates have been awarded.
  • 6 students have received bachelor degrees.
  • 29 students are currently pursuing baccalaureate degrees.
  • 1 student is currently pursuing a master’s degree.

Lahea Salazar, Wai‘ale‘ale Project Program Coordinator said, “Donors are making a significant and positive impact on the lives of our Wai‘ale‘ale students. We are most grateful for all their support!”

Juliet Flores, a non-traditional student who is in the 8th Wai‘ale‘ale Project cohort added, “I'm so thankful and appreciate the help I've received to further my education.  I intend on getting my Certificate of Completion and then my AS Degree in Creative Media. The Creative Media program keeps expanding and I’m so excited. I’ve always been interested in music and writing, but I put my dreams on hold to help my ‘ohana to a point where I lost that desire and the inspiration to even pick up my ukulele to play.”

Flores continued, “I would also like take up Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Botany to restore what has been lost and to preserve what we have. Without the help I’ve received through the Wai’ale’ale Program I could not have afforded to come back to school.”

Background on the Early College Program

The Early College Program allows high school students to take college classes on their high school campus. Students are taught by college professors and take the class with their high school peers. Students who successfully complete the college class receive both high school and college credit. Currently, Kaua'i CC instructors are teaching classes at Waimea, Kaua'i and Kapa'a High Schools.

This is part of an initiative of Hawai'i P-20 Partnerships for Education, a statewide collaboration led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, Hawai'i Department of Education and the University of Hawai'i System, with the goal of improving educational outcomes for Hawai'i. Hawai'i P-20 works to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education to achieve college and career success for all Hawai'i's students.

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The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.

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