UH Hilo’s astronomy center wins $15K award for providing leadership in education

The Monty Richards award will be used for ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Education Initiative to further its leadership, teaching, program development and community engagement.

Group standing in green pasture in Waimea. People in front are holding oversized check for $30,000 made out to Imiloa and the Kohala Center.
Recipients of the two 2015 Monty Richard Hawai‘i Island Community Leadership Awards– at the left are representatives from ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i (Ka‘iu Kimura, executive director, in brown dress), at right are representatives from The Kohala Center (Kamanamaikalani Beamer, CEO, in green aloha shirt). Courtesy photo.
Kaʻiu Kimura
Kaʻiu Kimura

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is one of two recipients of this year’s Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation Monty Richards Hawai‘i Island Community Leadership Award, which recognizes nonprofits that provide leadership in community development, education or housing to benefit residents of Hawai‘i County. The other recipient this year is The Kohala Center. Each nonprofit was awarded $15,000.

The award is named after Herbert “Monty” Montague Richards Jr., a dedicated Hawai‘i Island community leader and former longtime board director for Bank of Hawai‘i.

“We are so pleased to help The Kohala Center and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i continue to fulfill their missions and the good work they do,” says Donna Tanoue, president of the Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation. “Both of these local nonprofits offer enriching educational experiences and professional guidance through hands-on learning to Hawai‘i’s next generation of young leaders and innovators.”

‘Imiloa is an education center of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo located in the University Park of Science and Technology. ‘Imiloa’s mission is to honor Maunakea by sharing Hawaiian culture and science to inspire exploration.

“As ‘Imiloa approaches our tenth anniversary in 2016, we are excited to introduce new programs that will expand our unique brand of place-based science education beyond our center in Hilo to reach new audiences in other parts of Hawai‘i Island and beyond,” says Ka‘iu Kimura, ‘Imiloa executive director. “We aspire for ‘Imiloa to become a model for science center-community collaboration and STEM education on a national and international level.”

The Monty Richards award will be used for ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Education Initiative to further its leadership, teaching, program development and community engagement.

The other recipient, The Kohala Center, is a community-based nonprofit that focuses on energy self-reliance, food self-reliance and ecosystem health.

Media release