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Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

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HomeI MUA Newsroom Nationally recognized Kamehameha Scholars program showcased at WIPCE
Participants in Kamehameha Scholars experience hands-on learning opportunities outside of the traditional bricks-and-mortar school setting.
Nationally recognized Kamehameha Scholars program showcased at WIPCE

One of the Hawaiian culture-based activities utilized to teach haumāna (students) within the Kamehameha Scholars program involves the cleaning and crafting of ‘umeke – hollowed-out bowls, which in this case, symbolize the collection of knowledge.

While cleaning and shaping their gourds to create functional bowls, Kamehameha Scholars participants hollow out the rugged, oddly shaped objects and remove dirt and grime. The resulting pieces aren’t perfect by any means, but display vast improvement and growth through trusting a proven process.

The hands-on method symbolizes what the students go through as young adults: impressionable at-risk high school ‘ōpio addressing their imperfections with the goal of becoming productive citizens capable of making positive contributions to society with a readily available support system to help maintain successful habits.

Kamehameha Schools Counselors Gina Karas and Ché Sabol shared this and other positive metaphors, anecdotes and results associated with the nationally recognized Kamehameha Scholars – Kamehameha Schools’ statewide community education program that assists public, private, charter and home-schooled high school students in reaching higher education goals – as part of the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Attendees at this particular workshop hailed from the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and were enlightened as to what the community education program is doing to help ‘ōpio find and remain on the right track.

“What amazed us most as a result of our presentation was the realization that the culturally infused work we do with our Native Hawaiians has the ability to impact so many other indigenous students around the world,” Karas said. “We are so grateful to have been given this opportunity to share our mana‘o with others here at WIPCE.”

Towards the end of the presentation, many in the audience appeared pleasantly surprised to learn that the grade point average of the initial cohort of haumāna prior to participating in the Hui Mana’o’i’o (small group counseling intervention) was 1.84, and less than two years later, that figure had risen to nearly 2.5. A minimum 2.0 GPA is needed for students to remain in the program – quite an achievement for those previously identified as “academic underachievers.”

Earlier in July, 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).

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.

For photos and video clips of Kamehameha Scholars staff at WIPCE and the ASCA conference, visit KS on social media: Facebook (Kamehameha Schools); Instagram (@kamehamehaschools); and Twitter (@ksnews).

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March 08, 2017

Kamehameha Scholars program earns national acclaim

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


December 12, 2014

Kamehameha Scholars puts high schoolers on the path to college

The program offers college and career guidance to high school students not enrolled in a KS campus program. In 2014, 100 percent of the students completing the program were accepted to a college or university.


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Categories: Themes, Culture, Community, Newsroom, Community Education