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Mentors needed for national education effort

by Nancy Ellis, vice president and dean of Student Support Services

HPU faculty, staff, and students are participating in a national effort, The Century Program, to enhance the educational achievements of underserved youth.


The program, supported by the Foundation for Excellent Schools and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among many others, develops partnerships between public schools (K-12) in high-need communities and colleges and universities who work with the schools to raise student aspirations and improve student performance, especially in low-income schools, to ensure that a greater number of high school graduates are “college ready.”

Nationwide this initiative will eventually involve 100 public schools partnered with more than 100 colleges to directly benefit more than 20,000 youth.

The program was launched in Hawai‘i this past fall. HPU has committed to develop sustainable partnerships with Castle High School, Kailua High School, Pu‘ohala Elementary School, and Kapa‘a High School.

The four basic components of the program are mentoring, goal setting, early college awareness, and community service. In November, eight HPU students served as mentors to program scholars at Castle High. They spoke with about 80 ninth- and tenth- grade students about college life, about how to afford a college education, and how college life is different from high school. The HPU students said they felt they had learned as much from the Castle students as the Castle students learned from them.

Future plans include HPU campus visits by the program students from the public schools, more mentoring interaction, early college awareness presentations by HPU staff, and some joint community service projects.

Students interested in becoming mentors as part of this program should contact Malia Chong, HPU academic advisor, at 544-1198 or e-mail


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