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HomeI MUA Newsroom National distinction bestowed upon Kamehameha Scholars program
Participants in the Kamehameha Scholars program engage in various cultural enrichment activities, including haumāna pictured here tending to a māla kalo with Kamehameha Schools Cultural Specialist Laiana Kanoa-Wong.
National distinction bestowed upon Kamehameha Scholars program

In a first-of-its-kind national honor for a community education program, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) selected Kamehameha Scholars as a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP).

Kamehameha Scholars – Kamehameha Schools’ statewide community education program that assists public and private high school students in reaching higher education goals – was honored at a ceremony during ASCA’s annual conference in Denver, Colo. The conference featured more than 3,400 attendees, and it was announced at the opening general session that Kamehameha Schools was one of 104 schools from 27 states to earn the prestigious distinction.

“This recognition highlights the value that this program places on the importance of post-secondary success as a key component to achieving a thriving lāhui,” said Kūamahi Community Education Managing Director Waiʻaleʻale Sarsona; Kūamahi is a division within Kamehameha Schools’ Community Engagement and Resources Group, which focuses on connecting KS and community resources to address educational needs specific to individual communities. “As we prepare to enhance the already award-winning aspects of this program, we celebrate moving forward toward continued excellence“As we prepare to enhance the already award-winning aspects of this program, we celebrate moving forward toward continued excellence from a foundation grounded in the Hawaiian culture, with Hawaiian values.”

The RAMP designation recognizes programs that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment. Since the program’s inception, more than 650 schools have been designated as RAMP recipients.

“This year’s RAMP honorees have shown their commitment to students and the school counseling profession,” says Jill Cook, ASCA assistant director. “These programs used data to drive their program development and implementation so all students can achieve success. RAMP designation distinguishes these programs and encourages school counselors nationwide to strive for excellence.”

The program is currently open to students in grades 9-12 who reside on the islands of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, and Kaua‘i, and is staffed by 10 KS counselors from those islands. In school year 2015-16, the program served a total of 720 students who represented most of the private and public schools across the state, as well as charter and home-school students.

“The coaching and workforce, and leadership development training in this program are crucial to lifelong success for individuals. We believe that individual success means success for our entire community, and it’s great to see that our values align with the ASCA criteria,” said Sarsona.

Kamehameha Scholars was created in 2003 as part of KS’ community outreach efforts to serve more Native Hawaiian youth. The year-round career guidance and college prep program allows students to match their skills and interests with colleges and career options for future planning.

“Accepting this award is reaffirmation of the transformation and changes that have occurred in the program over time, changes that have proven to be beneficial for our students and their futures,” said KS Program Manager Lovina Hudson. “Kamehameha Scholars has used data as the foundation of its evolution as an effective school counseling program.”

For more information on Kamehameha Scholars, log on to https://apps.ksbe.edu/kscholars/. For photos and video clips of Kamehameha Scholars staff at the ASCA conference, visit KS on social media: Facebook (Kamehameha Schools); Instagram (@kamehamehaschools); and Twitter (@ksnews).

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