September 11, 2014


U.S. Department of Education awards new grants for Native Hawaiian Education Program and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions of Higher Education

Washington, D.C.  – Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz today announced grants to programs and institutions of higher education that serve Native Hawaiian communities, from preschool through college and career training. Projects will support vital needs such as kindergarten readiness; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education; Native Hawaiian culture and language; and college success. 

“Congratulations to the grantees who are working to prepare Native Hawaiian students and families to reach their educational and career goals,” said Hirono. “After visiting many of these schools and programs in Hawaii, I have seen first-hand how important it is to empower Native Hawaiian students and will continue to fight for these valuable funds. When students have a sense of place and feel they’re a part of the community, they can thrive in the classroom and beyond.” 

“Many in our Native Hawaiian communities face unique challenges in gaining a higher education. We must make sure the federal government continues to do its part to identify and tackle some of the obstacles standing in their way,” Schatz said. “These investments will go a long way in providing our children with the opportunities to learn in a unique, culturally sensitive way and help them reach their full potential.”

Native Hawaiian Education Program (NHEP) grantees are receiving more than $8 million in funding and over $11 million are being awarded to Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions of Higher Education.

 A full list of awards is below: 

 Native Hawaiian Education Program Awardees 

 Grantee Organization

Award Amount

  Project Name and Description

Children’s Defense Fund


The Hawaii KOA (Knowledge, Opportunity, Achievement) Project will provide literacy coaching and cultural enrichment to help Hawaii Island students prepare for STEM, aviation, health, tourism, and design careers.

Children’s Defense Fund


Moloka’i Creating Opportunities for Rigorous Academic Learning (CORAL) will provide cultural and Native language mastery to island youth in summer and school enrichment.

Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE)


The Kulia and Ka Lama Education Academy will support students earning their teaching credentials who are committed to teach early childhood in the Native Hawaiian community.

Kawaiahao Church


The E Lauhoe project will provide bilingual STEM curriculum and encourage the use of STEM knowledge at home.

Keiki O Ka Aina Preschool, Inc.


Unite to Progress will create family-based education hubs in seven Native Hawaiian communities in order to support pre-school aged students and their families.

Marimed Foundation for Island Health Care Training


The Oihana Holomoana Project will work to empower Native Hawaiian youth to successfully transition to post-secondary education and career pathways in the maritime industry.

Maui Family Support Services, Inc.


Positive Impacts for Keiki Outcomes proposes to provide family support services to Native Hawaiian families to ensure school success in kindergarten.

Pacific American Foundation


The Kulia Natural Resource Stewardship Project will support STEM instruction for middle and high school Native Hawaiian students.

Partners in Development Foundation


Ka Paalana plans to provide comprehensive family education programming to homeless Native Hawaiian families to break the cycle of generational poverty.

Partners in Development Foundation


The Na Pono Project proposes to reach out to homeless populations and increase self-sufficiency and educational skills.

Partners in Development Foundation


The Pili A Paa Project will create a teacher development and leadership program in order to raise Native Hawaiian students’ achievement.

Partners in Development Foundation


Tutu and Me: Pa Ka La will equip caregivers to be their child’s first teacher, preparing young children for when they enter school.

University of Hawaii


Literacy Through Digital Media plans to improve students’ cultural identity and literacy by learning from kupuna and storytelling.

University of Hawaii


The Pili Pono project will provide college preparation activities to at-risk Native Hawaiian students in Oahu.

University of Hawaii


Project Hookui will increase enrollment of Native Hawaiian students in postsecondary education through dual enrollment programs during high school.

University of Hawaii


Project Neepapa Ka Hana plans to increase engagement of middle school Native Hawaiian students with special needs in STEM programs.

University of Hawaii


Project Pihana Hou will use school-wide reading interventions for pre-K through grade 3, helping kids avoid falling behind.

Waianae District Comprehensive Health and Hospital Board


Waianae Health Academy will increase the number of Native Hawaiians ready for college and health careers.

Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions of Higher Education Awardees

Grantee Organization

Award Amount

Project Name and Description

Chaminade University of Honolulu


Chaminade University will use the renovation grant to improve five of its academic buildings and upgrade the university’s information technologies.

Honolulu Community College


With the renovation grant, Honolulu Community College plans to relocate their Native Hawaiian Center and co-locate to provide seamless student services and financial aid.

Kapiolani Community College


The Kauhale Ke Kuleana project will support renovations to the campus to support a culture of success, and will strengthen programs that assess and improve student learning and progress.

Kauai Community College


KauCC will add campus gathering places that align with Native Hawaiian teaching practices, improving student support and adding degrees.

Leeward Community College


The Paa Ke Kahua project aims to increase Native Hawaiian students’ success in STEM degree programs through the improvement of laboratory facilities.

University of Hawaii at Manoa


The proposed plan for renovations at UH Manoa will improve classroom, laboratory and student services facilities to support research on Native Hawaiian culture, language and student support services.

University of Hawaii - West Oahu


UH West Oahu’s PIKO project will work towards supporting Native Hawaiian student’s health, wellness and well-being. It will support renovations for students in the health sciences, and make room for Native Hawaiian cultural arts.

Windward Community College


The Hainaulu project will strengthen STEM student’s success through facility renovation and curricular improvement. Additionally, it will develop a Student Parent Center.