Kupu was developed in response to the growing needs of Hawai`i’s communities to train up the next generation in natural resource management, renewable energy, energy conservation and other green job skill sets. Kupu is predicated on the Hawaiian concept of maka hana ka`ike, “in working one learns.” Kupu programs teach youth vital work skills as well as leadership, responsibility and learning to serve the community, incorporating vocational training, educational degree achievement and service learning.
Kupu provides hundreds of paid internships, engages up to 17,000 volunteers, and provides more than $9 million benefit to Hawai`i through its programs annually. This includes over 230,000 service hours and close to a half million dollars in college and continued education funds to Hawai`i’s youth. Download our 2013 Annual Report→
Kupu provides a home organization for the Hawai`i Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC), CommunityU, RISE and Environmental Education (E2U) Programs. Through its various programs, Kupu aims to provide experiential education, as well as job training, leadership, teamwork, and life skills development opportunities to help youth and young adults succeed in life and encourages them to serve their communities.
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The Corps Network National Corps Member of the Year, 2008, 2011 & 2014
USDA US Forest Service Regional Forester Award, 2013 (first ever Hawaii recipient)
Federally Accredited 21st Century Service and Conservation Corps, 2013
Business Leadership Hawai`i 2011, Nonprofit Leadership Award finalist
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Project of the Year 2010-11
Audubon Society of Hawai`i, Environmental Education Award 2010, Wildlife Society Hawai`i Chapter
AmeriCorps Service Commission 2010, Innovation in Civic Participation
John Leong, Kupu Chief Executive Officer:
- Na Kama Kai Ho'okele Award: Beginning a Life Long Commitment to Malama 'Aina, 2014
- Hawaii Institute of Public Affairs Ho‘oulu Leadership Award, 2013
- Hawai`i Business Magazine, 20 for the Next 20, 2012
- Bank of Hawai`i Community Leader of the Year, 2010
- Pacific Business News, Forty under 40, 2010
To empower youth to serve their communities through character-building, service-learning, and environmental stewardship opportunities that encourage integrity (pono) with God (Ke Akua), self and others.