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KS CEO Jack Wong and Akaʻula School Principal Dara Lukonen recently signed a partnership agreement that would provide need-based scholarships to enable more Moloka‘i children to attend the independent school which serves students from grades five through 12 - 70 to 80 percent of whom are Native Hawaiian.

KS partners with Moloka'i school to provide Native Hawaiian scholarships

April 30, 2018

Contributed by Elizabeth Ahana

Akaʻula School and Kamehameha Schools are partnering to provide more Moloka‘i children the opportunity to attend the independent school which serves students from grades five through 12, 70 to 80 percent of whom are Native Hawaiian.

The “Hoʻokahi Ka ʻIlau” (Wield the Paddles Together) scholarship will provide tuition and support services for students who demonstrate financial need.

The memorandum of agreement between the schools is a recent example of KS’ efforts to collaborate and support schools deep in island communities to provide educational opportunities to students not served on KS campuses.

“Today is going to be a game changer for our school,” said Dara Lukonen, principal for Akaʻula School. “This partnership with Kamehameha Schools is going to allow us to offer opportunities to students we have not been able to reach yet.”

KS’ long-term vision to see a thriving lāhui in 25 years is at the core of its decision to align and partner with like-minded institutions. Through collaborations like these, new innovative ideas can take flight while rooted in culture and identity, ultimately leading to cutting-edge partnerships with schools like Akaʻua.

“It is our kuleana to give every Native Hawaiian child the opportunity to experience an educational journey that will foster the strength and ambition they can only obtain through quality Hawaiian culture-based education,” said Jack Wong, chief executive officer of Kamehameha Schools. “Our strategic plan challenges us to do more. This partnership will allow us to deliver on that challenge because every Native Hawaiian keiki is a child of Pauahi.”

Ho‘okahi Ka ‘Ilau is a three-year commitment between the two schools. New enrollees of Native Hawaiian descent at Aka‘ula School will be eligible for the tuition assistance program, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

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