Kahului, HI — September 26, 2013 — University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Liko Aʻe Native Hawaiian Leadership Program received its second year award after a successful first year annual report. This award of $1.5M from the U.S. Department of Education Title VII Elementary and Secondary Education Act funds the Program through August 2014.
This year marks the tenth year that Liko Aʻe has been assisting Native Hawaiian students with financial aid and student support services, now available on all islands and nationwide. Since receiving its first USDOE award in 2003, over 2000 students have received college scholarships, college counseling, and critically-necessary mentoring and support services through the Program. Our decade of service to the Hawaiian community has resulted in a deep understanding of how best to serve Hawaiian students, and the Program’s momentum keeps building.
“This second-year funding for our Leadership Program allows us to provide scholarships and wrap-around support services to Native Hawaiians students with a greater focus on serving those from rural and under-represented areas and non-traditional students,” says Program Director, Malia Davidson.
Participating scholars also are required to perform leadership service in their communities. The Program has identified a number of specific community projects and organizations that scholars will serve this year on Maui, Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu. After-school tutoring sessions, mentoring programs, and focused assistance to high school students studying to complete their GED are just a few of the target areas through which the Program’s undergraduate scholarship recipients will provide community service this year. Graduate recipients will act as team leaders for their undergraduate colleagues, and also will share their academic research through public and digital speaker events on various campuses.
For most of us, the cycle of education comes from multiple forms of schooling, as expressed by the famous ʻōlelo noʻeau, ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi. It is Liko Aʻe’s hope that, through participation in these leadership service opportunities, each scholar will share their treasures, wisdom, knowledge, and gifts in order to bring hope and encouragement to their community, while also learning valuable lessons themselves from their kūpuna and other community members.
Malama kekahi i kekahi, to take care of each other, seems so simple; however, this cultural wisdom sometimes is forgotten in our daily interactions. Nevertheless, for more than a decade, the Liko Aʻe staff has endeavored to put this core value into daily action. Even with the renewal of this generous grant from the USDOE, however, we constantly are reminded of the very large numbers of Native Hawaiian students whom the Program is unable to serve.
We are most grateful for the scholars who have entrusted us to help them achieve their goals, and we are dedicated to doing our very best for them. Our mission as we move forward into the second year of this grant is to provide Native Hawaiian students with the opportunity to grow and empower themselves so that they may take leadership roles through which they can contribute to building strong communities and a vibrant Hawaiian lāhui. Mahalo.