Hale Kipa’s School Success Program on Kauai, which assists youth and young adults up to age 22 with GED, credit-recovery and skills-based education, celebrated its fifth cohort of graduates on Friday, June 30, 2017.
The five graduates included three from Hale Kipa’s Skills Course, and two from the GED program, in a special commencement ceremony at Lihue Missionary Church. Rory Zambard, a Certified CrossFit Coach who leads fitness sessions for at-risk youth at CrossFit Poipu, gave the keynote address to the dozens of friends, family and Hale Kipa staff in attendance. The ceremony also included a photo slideshow of each graduate and refreshments.
Both of the GED graduates have received Wai‘ale‘ale Project Scholarships to enroll at Kauai Community College in the fall. Two of the Skills Course graduates are pursuing continued education, while one is working.
Kekoa, a Skills Course graduate, will enter the GED program while working part-time at the Plantation Coffee Company in Lihue. He thrived under the individualized attention he received from Hale Kipa youth mentors like Joe Maurer, which allowed him to study more effectively and tackle challenging subjects like history and math.
“The Hale Kipa staff made the materials much easier for me to understand, and helped me get the assignments done on time,” said Kekoa, who attended Waimea High School before enrolling in Skills Course classes three days a week for nearly 6 months. “If I struggled, they would explain things to me and help me prepare for tests. They also made the experience fun.”
School Success program graduations are held twice a year in December and May/June. To date, 39 students have graduated from the program, and many have been awarded Wai‘ale‘ale Project Scholarships. Twenty-three students are currently enrolled in the program.
School Success enrollment is ongoing and open to youth and young adults interested in completing missed high school coursework (credit recovery, suspension and in-school support); earning their GED; or earning a Skills Course Certification.
Hale Kipa’s Skills Course curriculum can be completed in 6-7 months and requires 100 hours of verified work or volunteer service in addition to coursework. Classes, which are held three days each week, are designed to build core competencies necessary for successful adult life, focusing on five primary subject areas: Health and Wellness; Community Knowledge; Budget and Finance; Career Planning; and U.S Government.
The School Success Program has near-perfect attendance from its students, who receive intensive support from Hale Kipa, including transportation, meals, tutoring, and connections to work and volunteer opportunities, to help facilitate the successful completion of coursework.
For more information, call Hale Kipa’s Kauai office at (808) 246-4898.
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