Kapi‘olani Community College was awarded a five-year federal grant worth $2.5 million from the Title III Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian (ANNH) Strengthening Institutions Program for its project, Kūloa‘a: Advancing Indigenous Innovators.

As part of Kapi‘olani Community College’s commitment to fostering innovation rooted in indigenous values, Chancellor Louise Pagotto and Title III Project Director Kapulani Landgraf envisioned the Kūloa‘a project to develop a cohort of indigenous innovators and engage with co-curricular activities by cultural practitioners and indigenous business and industry professionals. The project will expand transfer curricular pathways to four-year programs in economics and entrepreneurship. Kūloa‘a will further enhance campus fiscal stability by supporting grant programs benefitting Native Hawaiian students and activities.

This project embodies the spirit of the College value of Kūloa‘a, ensuring that the needs of our students are met with support and service, rooted in kū (to stand, to rise; to achieve; to prepare) and loaʻa (to succeed, harvest, obtain, gain). This project will directly benefit the growing population of Native Hawaiian (NH) students from Hawaiian language immersion schools and other public high schools.

Chancellor Pagotto shared, “[t]he motivation for Kūloa‘a stemmed in part from the enthusiastic response of Native Hawaiian students to Kūhaʻo Zane, Jamie Makasobe, Kaleo Wong and Kamaka Pili, indigenous entrepreneurs who presented at that the Kīpaipai Career and Transfer Speaker Series, an activity supported by our current Title III Part A Kauhale ke Kuleana Phase II project. It was clear to me that nurturing the entrepreneurship of our students would provide an important avenue to integrate their cultural heritage and their creative energies.”

Congratulations to Chancellor Louise Pagotto and Kapulani Landgraf, Title III Project Director, for their successful application.

Download the project abstract to learn more about Kūloa‘a.


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