search logo

Soon-to-be seniors Dedrick Sakuma, Jonah Poepoe, Allison Sato and William Cook worked with the KS Kapālama Operations Support staff to refurbish an old school bus into a shaved ice truck, which will be available for student fundraisers.

Kapālama internship program offers hands-on experience to incoming seniors

July 27, 2018

Contributed by Ben Balberdi

While many high school students are enjoying their summer break, 23 incoming seniors were put to work through Kamehameha Schools Kapālama’s summer school internship program.

Created in 2016 by the Parent and Alumni Relations Office in partnership with Hālau Kūkalaulama, the six-week program offers haumāna an opportunity to explore and gain hands-on experience in a variety of career pathways, thus, helping students make better informed decisions about their post-high plans.

“Our hope is that our haumāna find and follow their passions, explore other new career pathways, and build lasting relationships with mentors in their chosen career field,” said Chanell Sagon, KSK Parent and Alumni Relations coordinator. “In developing the program, we collaborated with Kāpili ‘Oihana, as well as looked at successful programs already offered at the Maui and Hawai‘i island campuses.”

This year’s program started in mid-June with a week of workshops on campus focused on leadership development, workplace etiquette and other essential job skills. From there, the student interns spent the next four weeks putting in 30 to 40 hours per week at their internship site.

The program culminated on July 20 with a hō‘ike, where the students shared their experience through a presentation to family members, representatives from their internship site, and KS staff. By completing this summer school course, each student received one elective credit towards their overall high school credit count.

“Through the program, I learned how to become a better communicator,” said Colt Almodova, KSK senior who interned at Hawai‘i News Now. “I believe this experience has helped me become more confident and excited for a future in broadcast journalism.”

Leimomi Punua, who interned at Howard Hughes Corporation, shared the value of the hands-on learning opportunity. “Over the past four weeks, I’ve shadowed many different departments. I’ve been able to gain insight on how a company this large operates and received a lot of advice for my future path.”

Thanks to the support and connections of KS alumni, parents and staff, the students were offered a variety of internship sites to choose from including Allied Builders Systems, Allison Izu, Esthetics & Cosmetology, The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Kealopiko, Kini Zamora, Lanakila Pacific Meals on Wheels, Randie Lunn Social Media Creative, Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Warrior Printing, Wilcox Memorial Hospital, and Kamehameha’s Land Assets Management Division and Department of Operations Support.

“Hosting these internships create win-win opportunities for students and staff,” said Alison Leary, KS director of Operations Support. “It provides us an opportunity to connect more directly to the mission by sharing our team’s talents and skills with students, making our work even more meaningful. It is also an opportunity for students to see another part of their campus while exploring new career possibilities.”

Sagon said the program is truly a kākou effort.  “The key to the program’s growth and success is the collaborations with KS alumni, parents, staff and community mentors. I am humbled and truly thankful for these partnerships and the incredible people dedicated to providing Work-Based Learning opportunities to our haumāna.”

For businesses interested in participating for future internships, please contact Chanell Sagon at

William Cook serves up some shaved ice in their shaved ice truck.

Student intern Zion Kaauai (center) learned about construction management with Sean Tamashiro and Gareth Gomez KSK’09 of Allied Builders Systems.

Makana Kanaiaupuni put her passion for photography into action as an intern with Randie Lunn KSK’03 at Randie Lunn – Social Media Creative.

Bobbie Lau KSK’84, senior general manager of Howard Hughes Corporation’s Ward Village, with student intern Leimomi Punua.

Marc Holmberg shows off a shirt he designed and screen-printed while interning with Caleb Spencer KSK’03 at Warrior Printing.

sp2020 goal 1,alumni,internships,summer school

Kaipuolono Article, Themes, Leadership, Newsroom, Campus Programs, Kapalama

Print with photos Print text only