The Legacy of a princess

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

Pauahi Legacy
Kamehameha Scholars accepts national school counselor award

Honolulu - (July 10, 2017) – Kamehameha Scholars, the Kamehameha Schools statewide community education program which assists public and private high school students in reaching higher education goals, accepted a national award from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) as the first community education program in the nation to receive the ASCA honor.

ASCA has named Kamehameha Scholars a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP). The RAMP designation, awarded for aligning with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, recognizes programs that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment. Since the program’s inception, over 650 schools have been designated as RAMP recipients. This is the first time the RAMP designation has been awarded to a community education program, a program that serves students from schools across Hawai‘i.

Kamehameha Scholars was recognized for making an exemplary commitment to comprehensive school counseling programs at a ceremony during ASCA’s annual conference in Denver, Colo.

“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.”

Created in 2003 as part of Kamehameha Schools’ community outreach efforts to serve more Native Hawaiian youth, Kamehameha Scholars is a year-round career guidance and college prep program which serves students from public and private schools statewide, and allows them to match their skills and interests with colleges and career options for future planning.

“This year’s RAMP honorees have shown their commitment to students and the school counseling profession,” said 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.”

Kamehameha Scholars has used data as the foundation of its evolution as an effective school counseling program. “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 Program Manager Lovina Hudson.

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.  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. Charter and home-school students were also in the program.

Kamehameha Scholars is not a traditional brick-and-mortar school program but provides a counseling curriculum to students based upon ASCA’s National Model. Students enter the application-based program by attending an orientation for new scholars during the summer prior to their first year in the program. Workshops and other counseling activities are held during non-school times—primarily weekends, evenings, and school intersessions—at various times during the school year.

“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.

The program’s targeted outcomes include:

  • Increase on-time high school graduation rates.
  • Increase college readiness.
  • Increase college aspirations.
  • Increase postsecondary enrollment rates.

In striving to reach those outcomes, the program’s data includes statistics that so far show Kamehameha Scholars graduates are:

  • Graduating from high school on time at a much higher rate than Native Hawaiians in the state of Hawai‘i as a whole (100% vs. 72%) and higher than the overall graduation rate for the state of Hawai‘i (80%).”
  • Continuing to be accepted into college at high rate. In school year 2014-2015, 96% of scholars were accepted into a postsecondary institution. That number was 97% in the previous school year.

For more information on Kamehameha Scholars, go to Photos of the program can be downloaded at .


About Kamehameha Schools

Founded in 1887 by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Kamehameha Schools (KS) is a private, educational, charitable Native Hawaiian trust committed to improving the capability and wellbeing of our people through education. Income generated from its endowment portfolio of commercial real estate and other diverse investments funds more than 96 percent of KS’ educational mission.

In 2015, Kamehameha Schools embarked on a bold, exciting voyage that envisions, in one generation, a thriving Lāhui in which all learners achieve postsecondary educational success, enabling good life and career choices. Grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values, learners will be leaders who contribute to their communities locally and globally.

At the heart of this journey are those who share this vision to ensure that all Native Hawaiians have the opportunity to succeed. Strong community collaborations, donor participation and key state, national and international partnerships are vital to creating the means to propel learners onto knowledge and career paths of their choice. Visit for more information.

About the American School Counselor Association

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) professional organization based in Alexandria, Va. ASCA promotes student success by expanding the image and influence of school counseling through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change. ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, career planning and social/emotional development to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. Founded in 1952, ASCA, the school counseling division of the American Counseling Association, has a network of 50 state associations and a membership of nearly 32,000 school counseling professionals. For additional information on the American School Counselor Association, visit