Our youth have expressed concerns, and significant self-doubt and consciousness regarding situations requiring professionalism or expertise.​


Hawaii Rise kupuna and instructors with extensive business, education, and professional development skills and experience lead classes and workshops related to writing and submitting resumes, cover letters, and job, scholarship and financial aid applications; as well as and interview skills. Participants are provided with information and guidance about financial and other resources and support  available, especially those specifically designated to assist kanaka.


There are gaps between to provision and demand of this sort of development, support, and resources available and accessible to the community; that schools and other community organizations are not able to fulfill; especially in lower socio-economic classes and minority populations. This programming provides a focus on teaching and guiding young kanaka in presenting their heritage, culture, experience, and values as assets in professional and academic institutions.

Our youth have expressed concerns, and significant self-doubt and consciousness regarding situations requiring professionalism or expertise. When local youth, and even adults, have to “sell” their intelligence, accomplishments, experience, and skills in resumes, interviews, or essays; they are often already battling with the ingrained local values of humility and cautions against boastfulness. When others’ social cues, comments, or condescension go further and communicate a message that in order to compete, or achieve, or succeed, one must “act” or hide any part of their culture, heritage, values, or experiences; it can instill a sense of inferiority and inhibit some from taking pride and exploring the value their culture offers both to them as individuals, as well as other organizations and employers.


Our youth are hard-working and family-oriented, yet do not realize the skills and experiences they bring to the table. Sometimes that’s because they didn’t learn or practice their skills at a “job,” other times, the responsibilities a part of daily life and haven’t been looked in context to how they might translate or scale as valuable or impressive in a professional setting.

We discuss and work with participants to understand how to highlight and communicate their unique experiences, skills, and perspectives as assets in the professional and academic realms, to best position them for whatever opportunities they would like to pursue and continue growing awareness and advocacy of the diversity of “success” and value kanaka offer to organizations and institutions.

This allows our program and participants to “pay it forward” and exponentially increase awareness and skills in across an even larger population beyond the first-hand Hawaii Rise program participants; and allows educators and community members to connect and collaborate in the continued interest of improving education and opportunities available for and in the community.