When the Kamehameha Scholars program began in 2003, it offered leadership, character-building and mentoring support to high schoolers not enrolled in a KS campus program. Today, the program has shifted its focus to providing college and career guidance, cultivating 21st century skills in haumāna.
In response to this shift, the demand for the program has grown throughout the state. In 2014, the percentage of applications increased in all regions, most notably a 241-percent increase in East Hawai‘i. Also, 100 percent of those who complete the program were accepted were accepted to a college or university.
Kamehameha Scholars has raised its expectations of students to not only participate in workshops and complete assignments, but also to do well in school and maintain a certain grade point average. Fulfilling these requirements should lead to attendance at an accredited post-high institution, and a chance at earn merit scholarships of up to $2,500.
Along with the advancement of the program, Kamehameha Scholars has also taken on other projects to further the advancement of Native Hawaiians. These include post-high school monitoring for both Kamehameha Scholars and KS campus graduates; charter school career, college curriculum guidance; and working with the State Department of Education on the Kupa ‘Āina initiative which establishes a direct link between KS ‘āina-based learning labs and DOE schools
As the services and demand for the program expand, every year’s cohort motivates the Kamehameha Scholars team to continue to serve their students and raise the expectations for themselves and the scholars.
For more information, please see the program’s executive summary.