LIHUE — The Chan Zuckerberg family is building on their support of Kauai Community College students with a new donation to support the Waialeale Project and Early College Program.
“We appreciate that the Waialeale Project and Early College Program reduce financial and other barriers to accessing post-secondary education for Kauai students,” Dr. Priscilla Chan said in a press release.
“The statistics on and results garnered in both of these programs are very impressive. We are happy to support this important work that transforms lives.”
The Waialeale Project at KCC is a special program for Kauai and Niihau residents. It encourages non-college-bound high school students and adults to attend, and complete, their first year of college.
The program reduces barriers to entering and succeeding in college by providing comprehensive support to students up to the attainment of an associate’s degree, according to a press release. It was established in 2010 by a donor who is passionate about encouraging individuals who had no plans to attend college, to pursue their education.
“Donors are making a significant and positive impact on the lives of our Waialeale students,” said Lahea Salazar, Waialeale Project program coordinator. “We are most grateful for all their support.”
Juliet Flores, a non-traditional student, said she was thankful for the help she has received through the program.
“I intend on getting my certificate of completion and then my AS degree in creative media. The creative media program keeps expanding and I’m so excited,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in music and writing, but I put my dreams on hold to help my ohana to a point where I lost that desire and the inspiration to even pick up my ukulele to play.”
She said she would like take up Hawaiian studies and Hawaiian botany “to restore what has been lost and to preserve what we have.
“Without the help I’ve received through the Waialeale Program I could not have afforded to come back to school,” she said.