Leadership Kaua‘i awards Ka Ulu Pono grants

PUHI — Seven teachers heading programs dealing with various career opportunity pathways received grants for their programs during the orientation meeting of Leadership Kaua‘i’s Ka Ulu Pono Career Awareness Program yesterday.

Mason Chock, executive director for Leadership Kaua‘i, said the organization is the administrator for Ka Ulu Pono funding, which originated through the county’s Office of Economic Development.

The Ka Ulu Pono program is one of the Leadership Kaua‘i Youth initiatives and involves developing community and collaborative partnerships between students in classes and private industry.

“These individuals represent the various industrial clusters identified by Leadership Kaua‘i as where the island needs to go,” Chock said.

The seven leaders recognized include Kara Kitamura, who works with more than 40 students in a Health Services Pathway at Kapa‘a High School.

Brandon Fujita works with an aquaculture program in conjunction with the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources in a project to repopulate the Sloggett Reservoir.

Leah ‘Aiwohi is the lead facilitator at the Kaua‘i High School EAST project, which involves the students in the use of computers and CAD.

Davis Oshiro has more than one automotive class involved in the development of a biodiesel automobile.

James Massaro is a robotics teacher at Island School, and Joe Corbo has about 15 students working to revive the dive club at Island School.

Laura Mission is the remotely-operated vehicle coach for the Waimea High School and Island School teams.

Brenda Jose, the Ka Ulu Pono program director, said the groups identified have taken significant steps to providing educational opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders. She said when she was in school, the positions she now holds were not even being talked about.

That said, Jose said she extends her wishes for the programs to succeed because success means these students will grow up and return to the island.

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