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, graduated 16 students on Dec. 7, 2015. In just 18 months since launching, it is the program’s second cohort of graduates, following the graduation of nine students in May 2015. In total, 28 students have graduated.
A ceremony was held at Lihue Missionary Church, which was overflowing with friends and family in a celebration that included a photo slideshow of the graduates and a commencement speech by Edralyn Caberto, program specialist with the State’s Office of Youth Services, which helps support the program. Fifteen of the 16 graduates were in attendance, all completing Hale Kipa’s Skills Course Program; the remaining student, who graduated with his GED, recently started community college classes in Nevada.
Four of the graduates were awarded Wai‘ale‘ale Project Scholarships to enroll at Kauai Community College, while nearly all other graduates have secured full-time employment. This is the first class to graduate under Hale Kipa’s new Skills Course curriculum, which 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 & Wellness; Community Knowledge; Budget & Finance; Career Planning; and U.S Government.
“By offering several specially developed learning paths for students, we are providing educational options where few existed before,” said Melinda Montgomery, Hale Kipa program coordinator on Kauai. “We are continuing to grow the program, with new opportunities, teachers, and classroom space to provide support to as many young students as possible.”
The School Success Program prides itself on near-perfect attendance from its more than 40 currently enrolled 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.
Enrollment is ongoing and open to youth and young adults interested in completing missed high school coursework (credit recovery); earning their GED; or earning a Hale Kipa Skills Course Certification. Formerly open only to participants already enrolled in Hale Kipa programs, School Success no longer requires a formal referral or previous involvement with Hale Kipa.
Students can also now earn the High School Equivalency Certificate (HiSET), a newly launched alternative to the GED that allows the completion of coursework for a high school diploma.
Classes are held Wednesdays-Fridays from 9 a.m.-noon (class availability changes depending on need). The nonprofit organization Hawaii Literacy has also recently partnered with Hale Kipa to provide individualized literacy skills support.
Hale Kipa plans to hold its third graduation ceremony for the program in May 2016.
All photos courtesy of Isaiah Alverez, Wai‘ale‘ale Project Scholarship recipient and Kauai Community College student.
(Above) Featured Photo: Graduates of the School Success Program at Lihue Missionary Church on Dec. 7, 2015.
(Above) Joe Maurer, School Success Program instructor, speaks at the Dec. 7, 2015, graduation at Lihue Missionary Church. (Below) Jaque Kelley-Uyeoka, deputy CEO of Hale Kipa.
(Above & Below) Graduates of the School Success Program celebrate at the Dec. 7, 2015, graduation at Lihue Missionary Church with friends, family and Hale Kipa staff.
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