OHA grant to promote educational pathway for Native Hawaiian students

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Date: Friday, December 2, 2011
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Nā Pua No‘eau and the University of Hawaiʻi have been awarded a grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to increase Native Hawaiian participation in higher education. The two-year award totaling $2,462,280 will provide a pathway for Native Hawaiian students to the various University of Hawaiʻi campuses.

Nā Pua No‘eau, a Native Hawaiian Education Center at the University of Hawaiʻi, has offices and staff on six islands strategically located, working closely with UH campus programs and the Hawaiian community. The program provides students an opportunity to access UH facilities and faculty.

Director Dr. David Sing says the Native Hawaiian Education Center plays a significant role in creating opportunities for Hawaiian students to see higher education as a means to serve their family and their community. The pathways created in STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are showing significant results, especially at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo where there are currently 92 Nā Pua No‘eau students majoring in STEM fields.

“By the time I came to UH Hilo, I had taken classes on campus for years. I had already lived in the dormitory through Nā Pua No‘eau’s Summer Institute, and engaged in research in the field of study I was interested in,” said Nakoa Goo, who took part in Nā Pua No‘eau programs from grades 3 to 12. “Most importantly, through Nā Pua No‘eau, I had a picture of what I wanted to do and how I was going to accomplish that.”

Goo, a recent Marine Science graduate, is currently employed with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) as Program Coordinator at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center.

For more information or to register for Nā Pua No‘eau, contact a representative on the respective campuses. UH Hilo (808) 974-7678, UH Manoa (808) 956-9410, Kaua‘i Community College (808) 241-3238, UH Maui College (808) 984-3364, Moloka‘i Education Center (808) 553-9993, Lāna‘i High and Elementary School (808) 565-9100, University Center West Hawai‘i (808) 322-4867.

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