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BY STEPUPHAWAII.ORG – Over 5,200 students statewide from the Class of 2015 have committed to earn the Board of Education’s (BOE) Recognition Diploma, announced today by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education. This brings the total to over 14,200 students from the Classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015 who have pledged for the Step Up campaign over the past three years.

The Step Up campaign, an initiative of Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, encourages Hawai‘i public school students to “Step Up” to the challenge of career and college readiness upon high school graduation and sign a pledge form to earn the BOE Recognition Diploma. This optional diploma, which requires credits in specific math, science and English courses, and the completion of a senior project, is designed to prepare high school graduates for successful entry into college or a living-wage job. Students who earn this diploma are rewarded with incentives such as special consideration for scholarships and job application advancement with various employers.


The Class of 2015 was the final class eligible to pledge to earn the BOE Recognition Diploma. Starting with the Class of 2016, all Hawai‘i public school students will be required to earn a single college and career ready diploma that was passed by the Board of Education in September 2011.

“We congratulate these students for ‘stepping up’ to the challenge of earning the BOE Recognition Diploma and making a commitment to study hard during their high school years,” said Karen Lee, executive director of Hawai‘i P-20, a collaboration of The Early Learning Council, Hawai‘i State Department of Education, and the University of Hawai‘i. “College and career readiness is at the top of the state’s education agenda, and the BOE Recognition Diploma gives students a clear pathway to preparing themselves for life after high school, whether they choose to enter college or the workforce.”

A total of 119 schools throughout Hawai‘i participated in the Step Up Campaign over the past three years, and during this last year, 20 high schools pledged 50 percent or more of their 9th grade student body. They include: Anuenue School, Campbell High School, Castle High School, Hana High School, Honokaa High and Intermediate, Kaimuki High School, Kauai High School, Ke Kula Ehunuikaimalino, Keaau High School, Kohala High School, McKinley High School, Mililani High School, Molokai High School, Paauilo Elementary & Intermediate School, Pearl City High School, Roosevelt High School, Waiakea High School, Waianae High School, Waimea High School and Waipahu High School.

Although the pledge has officially ended, Hawai‘i P-20 will continue to support its 14,200 Step Up Scholars through newsletters, referrals to college access program opportunities, and financial aid and scholarship information until they graduate from high school. Students and families can continue to visit the Step Up website (www.stepuphawaii.org) which serves as an information portal to provide valuable college and career planning resources. 

For more information about the campaign, visit: www.stepuphawaii.org.