$2.7M grant helps prepare Nanakuli and Waianae students for coll - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

$2.7M grant helps prepare Nanakuli and Waianae students for college

(Image: UH West Oahu, Hawaii News Now) (Image: UH West Oahu, Hawaii News Now)
WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A $2.7 million grant is helping Nanakuli and Waianae students become more prepared for college.

The GEAR UP grant, which stands for Gaining early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, creates a partnership between the University of Hawaii West-Oahu, Kamehamhea Schools and intermediate and high schools in Nanakuli and Waianae.

The goal of the grant is to foster strong connections between students in those areas with the people and programs that can help them reach academic success. The program focuses on developing students' skills in math and english subjects while improving high school completion and  college enrollment.

"The beauty of GEAR UP is that it requires pilina (strong relations) between K-12 schools, universities, and local organizations to create a vibrant and sustainable learning community that supports the aspirations of all our learners,” said Maenette Benham, chancellor of University of Hawaii-West Oahu in a news release.

The grant will be used over the next seven years and will be utilized to support current seventh graders until they graduate high school and into their first year of high education.

In 2011, UHWO received a GEAR UP grant for students on the Leeward Coast which garnered significant results.

A record 20 valedictorians came from the more than 400 students in the GEAR UP cohort and the enrollment rates into UHWO from both Nanakuli and Waianae schools doubled in the Fall 2017 semester.

“Through this partnership with the Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area and the University of Hawaii-West Oahu, we were able to create new and innovative programs together,” said Kalei Ka‘ilihiwa, Regional Director for Kamehameha Schools in a news release.

“We built strong relationships between our organizations, aligned our resources, and based on the results we were able to realize together under the previous grant, I am thrilled to re-up our commitment to the work under this new grant.”  

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