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by Heather Ramia-Hoins staff writer


The HYCC is a youth centered nonprofit educational program that provides hands-on experience in natural resource management and perpetuates cultural awareness of the environment while encouraging leadership skills and teamwork. HYCC began in the early 1990s and is managed and developed by the Pono Pacific, LLC.

The HYCC offers full-and part-time, year-round, paid internships for students and alumni 18-30 years old. These internships include a monthly stipend of more than $1,000 and up to $5,000 for school loans, tuition, and/or health care. The HYCC offers these paid internships every year, but most students do not apply.

“ If there is one thing that I want students to know, it’s that they should just apply,” said Matt Bauner, a local HYCC officer who was at the Hawai‘i Loa campus’s Career Fair on Oct. 19.
“ They shouldn’t be worried about not qualifying,” he added. “There is no fee and there are no requirements or prior experience necessary to qualify, just a high school diploma.”

Sustainability and conservation are some of the main concerns of the HYCC. They seek both undergraduate and graduates who are in sustainability and biology fields, but they accept people in all fields.

The internship includes a minimum requirement of 40 hours a week and is considered to be a full-time job with little or no flexibility for a school schedule. This position is ideal for those who are taking a break from school, who have just graduated, or who can schedule night classes.

The HYCC internships are not offered on Moloka‘i and Lana‘i.

On Kaua‘i, there are five different internships that allow interns to work with groups of students and volunteers on the Kaua‘i forest bird recovery project, or a number of different programs with the resource conservation program and the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DFW).

“ I feel that we have made a very big impact on the future restoration of Kaho‘olawe,” said Jason Rivera, who worked on Kaua‘i and Kaho‘olawe this May. “I’m really appreciative of this opportunity I was given. I hope that I will be able to return and do it all over again,” he added.
On O‘ahu, seven programs include the O‘ahu Invasive Species Committee, a group repelling the Aquatic Invasive Species, and groups restoring historic fishponds and trails. There will also be a camping group who will work at the Mountains Watershed Partnership Program.

“ I learned about another conservation group that works up in the mountains protecting plants from ungulates (hoofed mammals),” said Kaila Alva, who worked on O‘ahu.

“ I think I might look into conservation on land as a career,” Alva added.

On Maui, volunteers will work with the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project and the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The island of Hawai‘i offers programs for the Forest Restoration of Mauna Kea, a group repelling the Aquatic Invasive Species and with the local chapter of the DLNR.

HYCC hpes to provide outdoor, hands-on experience for anyone interested. For now, paid training is currently offered on O‘ahu, and applications are due by Nov.9. Visit www.hawaiiycc.com or call (808) 735-1221.




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