Kupu Summer Programs Open Now
Kupu News Release
Kupu, Hawaii’s leading conservation and youth education nonprofit, announced applications are open for the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program, which offers an intensive hands-on experience into the world of conservation. This year Kupu is inviting applicants to apply on Molokai, along with Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. Application deadline is Feb. 25.
The program runs for seven weeks, from June 7 to July 22. If selected, participants are partnered within a team of five to seven other like-minded individuals and each week they will get to explore and serve within a different partner site, which holds new adventures, challenges, teachings and opportunities for personal growth. Participants will get to learn about a variety of ecosystems, natural resource management techniques and cultural practices unique to Hawaii.
“I think each site did a very good job of educating us about the history of the place and making us feel included,” said Mikela Parris, who previously participated in the program on Molokai. “I love hearing from our elders about their past experiences and how that shaped them into the person they are today. I learned how important stewardship is and how important it is to remove invasive species so that our native ecosystems can thrive. It is hard work, but it is important.”
“There are two ways to participate, either as a Team Member or Team Leader,” explains Kupu Recruiting Coordinator, Graeme Lander. “Team members are typically between the ages of 17 – 22 and don’t necessarily need any prior environmental experience. The ideal applicant is someone with a positive attitude, curious about nature, interested in learning, and a desire to strengthen their community through service.”
In addition to the First Aid and CPR certification, members receive a $500 monetary stipend, and $1,374 AmeriCorps Education Award (similar to a scholarship), gain valuable experiential environmental education, build close relationships with their peers, and life skills relevant to any career.
“The Team Leaders don’t mind extra responsibility,” Graeme adds. “They are the backbone for the team, responsible for assisting, coordinating and inspiring the members each day. Ideally, the leaders are 21 years and older, have experience in leading groups and have knowledge pertaining to unique Hawaii native plants and customs. They play an integral role in the success of the program and forming the experience the members have.”