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Ka Ipu Kukui Program Accepting Applications

UH Maui College OCET News Release

The Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program recently completed its seventh year and is now seeking applicants from Molokai for the 2014-15 session. A Decisions Maui and Focus Maui Nui initiative, the program is a yearlong endeavor designed to promote and train community-identified future leaders of Maui County.

Interested applicants are welcome to talk story with Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows at the Paddler’s Inn on June 3 from 5to 8 p.m.

Since it began seven years ago, 85 fellows have completed the program, including 11 graduates who were honored during a commencement ceremony held on Wednesday, May 7, at the Kahili Golf Course in Waikapu. A number of business representatives, program supporters and community leaders attended the graduation ceremony, including Hawaii State Sen. Roslyn Baker, Joe Pontanilla, and Maui County Councilmembers Gladys Baisa, Don Couch, Elle Cochran, and Stacy Crivello.

“There is no magic wand to wave that will give us the answers for all the challenges that face Maui,” said Class of 2014 Fellow Candace Thackerson. “Being a leader is not only about finding solutions, but also about compromise and understanding. An effective leader must first listen to the wide range of voices within the community, truly understand their concerns and then use all the information they have available to create the best solution possible for Maui’s future.”

“Ka ipu kukui” means “crucible of light; a test and a furnace for seeking and taking the best path ahead.” In response to concerns first expressed by Decisions Maui in the 1980s and reinforced by the 2003 Focus Maui Nui visioning process, the program was conceived to develop leaders through a community-based curriculum designed to address all aspects of planning for Maui Nui’s future.

Topics such as sustainability, water, energy, tourism, food sustainability and governance represent just a few of the issues in which participants will be actively engaged. Fellows will be required to participate in activities scheduled for two to three days each month, including overnight trips to neighbor islands. Between 12 and 16 Fellows will be selected through a competitive process conducted by the Ka Ipu Kukui Steering Committee.

“I am so proud and humbled by what our Fellows have accomplished; when we take a look around, many of our Fellows are involved in boards and committees—getting engaged and giving back to our community,” said Ka Ipu Kukui Steering Committee Member and Coordinator Dr. Lori Teragawachi, who is also the Director of the Office of Continuing Education and Training (OECT) at UH Maui College.

For more information or to nominate a candidate, contact Dr. Lori Teragawachi at (808) 984-3406 or visit maui.hawaii.edu/kaipukukui.

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