Categorized | Education

Grants provide $50,000 to help Ka‘u youth


The 2011 Ka‘u Youth Intern Program at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, was awarded a $25,000 matching grant from The Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. The challenge was met by the non-profit Hawai‘i Natural History Association, who provided the bulk of the match, along with additional funding from the National Park Service and the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The Ka‘u Youth Intern Program targets the underserved youth in the rural Ka‘u district for training and employment in the field of environmental conservation.

The 2011 program trained 22 Ka‘u High School students over a 5-week period during the spring semester. Training provided students with natural and cultural resources interpretation and environmental education knowledge and skills.

After training, 13 of these Ka‘u youth and six additional local students were hired to work at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park over the summer. They worked in a number of park divisions, including interpretation and cultural resources management.

“This program helps me meet both my personal and professional goals to help local kids understand how special and amazing Hawai‘i is,” says Supervisory Park Ranger Kupono McDaniel. “When they see how interested the rest of the world is in our home, they are proud. When I see how much they have learned and grown, I am proud as well. These are amazing kids doing good work for Hawai‘i.”

An additional $25,000 matching grant from the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund at the Hawai’i Community Foundation is also on the table to support the Ka‘u Youth Intern Program in 2012. For more information, contact Kupono McDaniel at 985-6015 or

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