Nā Ala Hele I Ke Ao

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Nā Ala Hele I Ke Ao

Nā Ala Hele I Ke Ao is a partnership with Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawai‘i designed to offer promising students of Hawaiian decent an opportunity to learn and be mentored by Hawaii’s business, civic and community leadership. The Hawaiian Leadership Education Training Program, Nā Ala Hele I Ke Ao, meaning the pathways to enlightenment, is funded in part through a $178,200 two-year grant from the Administration of Native Americans (ANA).Most of the class work takes place out of the classroom, where students do community service work in the lo‘i (taro patches), loko i‘a (fishponds), and ala hele (hiking trails). Mālama ‘āina, the concept of caring for the land, is crucial for Hawaiians. Another characteristic of Hawaiian leadership is the concept of kua‘ana (older sibling) caring for the poki‘i (younger sibling).

A number of Hawaiian leaders/role models are committed to mentoring the students in various academic and occupational fields, providing six-week stipend internships. The program is formatted similar to the Native Hawaiian charter public schools, Native Hawaiian Leadership Program at the University of Hawai‘i Hilo campus, Nā Pua No‘eau Program and The Kamehameha Schools.

Photos by Ku‘ulei Reyes | CUH