Program gets students career-ready - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Program gets students career-ready

Marlene Zeug Marlene Zeug
Kiona Esteban Kiona Esteban
Yuna Martin Yuna Martin

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Research shows that nearly half of 12 to 14 year olds are seriously thinking about their future careers.

An Oahu program helps them choose a career. It's called the PUEO Program or Partnerships for Unlimited Educational Opportunities. It's where public school students are given a Punahou education during the summer.

"For many students life after school can be uncertain, scary and challenging to find opportunities and resources that can make it less so," YWCA of Oahu's Marlene Zeug said.

That's where the PUEO Program flies in. On Friday, students like Roosevelt sophomore Kiona Esteban presented their final projects, which is called the Utopia Project.

"We got the chance to look into our careers also, while learning about government," she said.

It's a group exercise where they create their own Utopia -- their own government, constitution, flag, and laws.

"You have to be really creative, i mean i was kind of stumped while making up the constitution and we were stumped on the history and everything, so we just learned that government has to be organized and has to have order in it so the citizens can be happy," Kalani High School sophomore Yuna Martin said.

This project is designed to get students ready by the time they hit the streets to get a job.

"Everything our students are starting to become participants in instead of observers of, and as young as they are and the ideas they have, they can make those changes when they graduate from high school," PUEO Program assistant director Kylee Omo said.

Also in the process, students chose their career choice and identified how they contributed to that society or Utopia.

"I learned a lot about the different talents I had, I didn't actually know I had those talents," Esteban said.

For Esteban, those talents will hopefully elevate her to a career in international business -- a career she found through the PUEO Program.

The students taking part in this program get a mandatory social studies credit, which is needed in order for them to graduate.

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