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New Summer Bridge Program prepares STEM students for freshman year

L-R: Dean Cevallos, Principal Kea‘au High School; Carrie Larger, Career & Post-High School Counseling & Guidance, Kamehameha Schools; Brandon Ledward, ‘Āina-Based Education Department Extension Educational Services, Kamehameha Schools; Matt Platz, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH Hilo; Althea Magno, Kea‘au High School teacher; Don Straney, Chancellor, UH Hilo
L-R: Dean Cevallos, Principal Kea‘au High School; Carrie Larger, Career & Post-High School Counseling & Guidance, Kamehameha Schools; Brandon Ledward, ‘Āina-Based Education Department Extension Educational Services, Kamehameha Schools; Matt Platz, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UH Hilo; Althea Magno, Kea`au High School teacher; Don Straney, Chancellor, UH Hilo

On June 22, the first cohort of 25 students, all recent graduates from Kea‘au High School in Puna who will start their freshman year the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo or Hawai‘i Community College this fall, started in the Kupa ʻĀina 2014 Summer Bridge Program. Program participants are enrolled in college-level English and Math courses, earning college credit through a rigorous schedule of study for six weeks. The students have full access to advising, counseling, and tutoring.

A partnership between UH Hilo, Kamehameha Schools, Keaʻau High School, UH Hilo, and the UH Foundation has brought about this exciting new summer program designed to prepare new local students interested in pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—the STEM disciplines—and natural resources fields.

“We are very excited about this new program and grateful to Kamehameha Schools for their partnership,” says UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney. “Through innovative programs like this we will be able to improve retention and graduation rates, two to four year college transfer rates, and representation of Native Hawaiian and local students in Agriculture and STEM fields.”

Program funding comes from a $158,154 grant from the Kamehameha Schools Extension Education Services Division and a $5,000 grant from the Gloria Kosasa Gainsley Fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. Their support will fund participants’ room and board, transportation, supplies, as well as staff and teaching assistants to implement the program.

First Kupa-‘Āina Residential Program Participants:

  • Anuhea Ahuna
  • Michael Alonzo
  • Austin Anderson
  • Roger Bryant
  • Amanda Chiquita
  • Ivan Costa
  • Ronald Dalere
  • Lorelei Marie Domingo
  • James Franklin
  • Harley Gapol
  • Leona Gicheg
  • Beverly Ann Gorospe
  • Tristan Haskell
  • Zachary Kakazu
  • Esa Kin
  • Christian Lawson
  • Blaize Mae-Adrian
  • Bronson Mae-Adrian
  • Lowell Matias
  • Jordan Pedersen-Fukunaga
  • Deja Sherwood
  • Noah Stancil
  • Birolena Vaoga
  • Nyree Watai
  • Nathan Wong
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