Hawai‘i Island - Thanks to an innovative partnership between Kamehameha Schools Extension Educational Services Division, UH Hilo, and the DOE Complex covering Kea`au, Ka`u, and Pāhoa, 25 Hawai`i Island Kea`au High School students will experience first-hand what studying and living on the UH Hilo campus is like.
L-R: Dean Cevallos, Principal Kea‘au High School; Carrie Larger, Career & Post-High School Counseling & Guidance, Kamehameha Schools; Brandon Ledward, ‘Āina-Based Education Department Extension Educational Services, Kamehameha Schools; Matt Platz, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH Hilo; Althea Magno, Kea`au High School teacher; Don Straney, Chancellor, UH Hilo
“Kamehameha Schools Extension Educational Services Division is thrilled to be partnering with UH Hilo and Kea‘au High School to provide students with a unique Hawaiian culture and ‘aina based summer bridge experience like no other in the State,” said Division Director of Extension Educational Services at Kamehameha Schools Stacy Clayton. She continued, “Haumana who complete the Kupa-‘Āina six-week residential bridge at UH Hilo will leave the program with a myriad of benefits: six college credits in college level English and Math, acceptance into either UH Hilo or Hawai`i CC, comprehensive college and career readiness skills and most importantly a deep and rich cultural connection to their moku in East Hawai‘i.”
The 25 Hawai‘i Island Kea‘au High School students have an interest in natural resources. Āina-based applied learning activities will be incorporated for students to apply their academic learning outside of the classroom at Kamehameha learning sites around Hawai`i Island. The students will learn about the historical, cultural, and geographical significances of the sites and will be able to interact with a cultural practitioner/informant who have cultural connections to the learning sites.
Clayton added, “The Kupa-‘Āina summer bridge program is more than a college readiness program, it is a cultural transformation experience of the head, heart and hands of our haumana. The bridge program is rooted in the ‘ike and practices of our kupuna, and it will be through their kahiko wisdom we will cultivate our future generation of leaders.”
The first Kupa-‘Āina Residential Program runs from June 23 to August 1, 2014.
UHH Chancellor Don Straney, “We are very excited about this new program and grateful to Kamehameha Schools for their partnership. Through innovative programs like this we will be able to improve retention and graduation rates, two to four year college transfer rates, and representation of Native Hawaiian and local students in Agriculture and STEM fields.”
“Research shows that bridge programs are an effective method to enhance the success of students, improve their retention, and increase their college completion rate,” said Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UH Hilo Gail Makuakāne-Lundin.
Kea‘au High School, one of three public high schools in the Kea‘au-Ka‘ū-Pāhoa Complex has the largest number of students who graduate from high school (199 in Fall 2012), but also has the lowest percentage of students who attend a UH system campus (41.7%) compared to Pāhoa (47.1%) and Kā`ū (52.7%). This new bridge program will improve the educational capacity and college going rate of Kea`au High School students.
Principal Kea‘au High School Dean Cevallos added, “The partnership with Kupa-‘Āina summer Bridge project and UHH offer an opportunity for our student alumni to experience college life with such great mentoring I was wishing I could go through it with them. The itinerary for the program and the culture they will be exposed to will be such a great learning experience for all of them. To have a school such as ours with 44% full or part Hawaiian access to this great transitional program will be a topic that will resound on our campus.”
Program funding comes from a $158,154 grant from the Kamehameha Schools Extension Education Services Division and a $5,000 grant from the Gloria Kosasa Gainsley Fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. Their support will fund participants’ room and board, transportation, supplies, as well as staff and teaching assistants to implement the program.
First Kupa-‘Āina Residential Program Participants:
- Anuhea Ahuna
- Michael Alonzo
- Austin Anderson
- Roger Bryant
- Amanda Chiquita
- Ivan Costa
- Ronald Dalere
- Lorelei Marie Domingo
- James Franklin
- Harley Gapol
- Leona Gicheg
- Beverly Ann Gorospe
- Tristan Haskell
- Zachary Kakazu
- Esa Kin
- Christian Lawson
- Blaize Mae-Adrian
- Bronson Mae-Adrian
- Lowell Matias
- Jordan Pedersen-Fukunaga
- Deja Sherwood
- Noah Stancil
- Birolena Vaoga
- Nyree Watai
- Nathan Wong
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