Thanks to a $2.7 million Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) partnership grant, students in the Wai‘anae Coast Region will be afforded more opportunities to succeed both in high school and as they pursue college degrees.
Kamehameha Schools partnered with the University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu and Hawai‘i State Department of Education schools (Nānākuli and Wai‘anae Intermediate and High Schools) as part of the federally funded grant in an effort to strengthen the state’s capacity to educate and uplift all Native Hawaiian learners within their communities.
“Through this partnership with the Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Area and the University of Hawaiʻi-West O‘ahu, we were able to create new and innovative programs together,” says Kalei Ka‘ilihiwa, KS Wai‘anae Coast regional director.
“We built strong relationships between our organizations, aligned our resources, and based on the results we were able to realize together under the previous grant, I am thrilled to re-up our commitment to the work under this new grant.”
The goals of the GEAR UP grant include: increasing academic rigor and achievement in math and language arts; providing college and career readiness activities resulting in increased knowledge and high school completion; and increased postsecondary enrollment without need for remedial courses.
The grant will run for seven years and follow the current seventh grade cohort of students until they graduate and enter their first year of postsecondary education.
“The beauty of GEAR UP is that it requires pilina (strong relations) between K-12 schools, universities and local organizations to create a vibrant and sustainable learning community that supports the aspirations of all our learners,” said UH-West O‘ahu Chancellor Maenette Benham. “We are committed to working with our partners to graduate leaders.”