Learn conservation, professional development

LIHUE — The deadline for applying to the Kupu Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps Summer program has been extended to March 9, and anyone age 17 or older can apply.

It’s a chance to build professional skills while working in conservation, an opportunity for experience-builiding, and a way to make a paycheck for both team leaders and team members.

Alexandra Pond, a former HYCC-Summer Kauai team member, said the experience allowed her to gain a deeper respect and understanding of Hawaii’s culture, natural resources and environmental issues.

“If a majority of Hawaii’s youth could experience Kupu, I think the respect and care for the environment would become a more popular interaction between people and their land,” Pond said.

The summer program starts with a one-week training camp on Oahu, from May 29 for team leaders, an eight-week program, and on June 4 for members, a seven-week program. The program ends on July 20.

Youth ages 17-20 can apply to be team members at two different HYCC programs: the Summer program that runs for seven weeks, starting June 4 and the eight-week Summer Conservation Leadership and Development program starts June 11.

Anyone 21 years or older can apply to be a team leader in the programs, which provide cultural and environmental education, as well as job training opportunities islandwide in conservation, renewable energy, agriculture and sustainability.

Team leaders are paid $4,000 for six weeks and given an education award of $1,200.

Team members are paid $500 cash for six weeks and the same $1,200 education award. It’s also possible to earn college credit through the program.

Program applications are available online at www.kupuhawaii.org/hycc-summer/

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