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New College and Career Counselors from left to right: Tracy Manlansing, grades 11 and 12; Kaui Enomoto, grades 6 to 10; Helelani Hedani, grades 6 to 10; Zandra Jackson, grades K-5; Amanda Wilson, grades 6 to 10.

New College & Career Counselors Span Every Grade Level

Aug. 24, 2022

It’s been some 15 years since Kumu Helelani Hedani, KSM’07, graduated from Kamehameha Schools Maui, and now she’s back on campus with a cohort of five new counselors tasked with an important mission: position our haumāna for college success.

“As a student here, I knew college was the thing to do, but I didn’t always understand why it was important,” said Hedani, a new college and career counselor for grades 6 to 10. “My mission is to help our haumāna discover their driving passions so they know how college can help them pursue their goals.”

In a first for KS Maui, counselors spanning kindergarten through senior year will be working with haumāna and their ʻohana in preparing them for every aspect of life after graduation — from financial planning in the early years to finding the best college fit for each haumana’s goals and interests. Their work will center around an ambitious push by KS Maui to boost college and career readiness.

The journey begins with Kumu Zandra Jackson, college and career counselor for grades K to 5. She’ll be working with ʻohana to help them understand why planning early, especially though establishing a college savings, is so crucial.

“College prep can feel daunting for a lot of ʻohana, so starting the process early can help ease the anxiety and stress later on,” Jackson said. 

By the time haumāna reach sixth grade, Kumu Kaui Enomoto, counselor for grades 6 to 10, said it’s important that haumāna start thinking about what courses will put them on the right track.

“It’s not just about being college eligible,” Enomoto said. “It’s about having the life skills that help you succeed in college. Are you organized? Can you think critically? Can you manage money?”

Additionally, for student athletes, they need to start thinking about what NCAA eligibility requirements look like so it doesn’t come as a surprise later on, Enomoto said.

In high school, the college prep process will kick into high gear. Hedani, a first generation college graduate, will be helping haumāna build their resumes and pick the classes that prepare them for the fields they hope to pursue. 

The financial aspects of college will be a big focus for Kumu Amanda Wilson, college and career counselor for grades 6 to 10. 

“My hope is for our keiki to get through college without going into debt, and that means helping them find grants, scholarships and other resources,” she said. “The financial piece is so important. What are all the costs associated with college? A lot of ʻohana don’t really know.” 

When haumāna reach Kumu Tracy Manlansing, college and career counselor for juniors and seniors, the process becomes about fine-tuning one’s interests and finding the perfect college fit.

“This is really the time when haumāna are thinking about what they want to major in and how they envision spending the rest of their lives,” Manlansing said. “The perfect fit for one student is going to look different for another, so my job is to help haumāna find the best school that aligns with the path they’re on.”



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college-going culture, e ola, e ola learner outcomes, ʻōiwi leaders, college & career, ks maui, maui campus

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E Ola!, Maui Newsroom, KS Maui Home, Maui Elementary School, Maui Middle School, Maui High School, Parents, Newsroom, Campus Programs, Maui

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