Kupu opens applications for Youth Conservation Corps summer program

Applications are open for the Kupu Hawai’i Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program, which offers intensive hands-on experience in all of the islands.

The summer program runs for seven weeks from June 7 to July 22, 2022. If selected, participants are matched into a team of 5-7 other like-minded people. Each week, they will be able to explore and serve at a different partner site, which offers new adventures, challenges, teachings and opportunities for personal growth.

Participants will learn about a variety of ecosystems, natural resource management techniques and cultural practices unique to Hawai’i.

This year, Kupu, a non-profit conservation and youth education organization, invites applicants from Kaua’i, Moloka’i, O’ahu, Maui and Hawai’i Island to apply online. The deadline to apply is February 25.

“There are two ways to participate, either as a team member or a team leader,” said Graeme Lander, Kupu recruiting coordinator. “Team members are usually between 17 and 22 years old and don’t necessarily need previous environmental experience. The ideal candidate is someone with a positive attitude, curious about nature, interested in learning, and eager to strengthen their community through service.


Team members receive first aid and CPR certification, a monetary stipend of $ 500, and an AmeriCorps education award of $ 1,374 (similar to a scholarship). They also gain valuable experiential environmental education; establish close relationships with their peers; and acquire life skills relevant to any career.


Team leaders must be 21 by June 7, due to rental car requirements, and have a valid driver’s license. They are paid an hourly wage of $ 12.50 with benefits, plus overtime, if applicable. They also receive first aid and CPR certification and 4-5 days of specialist workshops on leadership, safety and logistics, and program / fieldwork preparation on O’ahu.

“Team leaders don’t mind the added responsibilities,” Graeme adds. “They are the backbone of the team, responsible for assisting, coordinating and inspiring members on a daily basis. Ideally, leaders are 21 and older, have experience leading groups, and have knowledge of native plants and unique Hawaiian customs. They play a critical role in the success of the program and in shaping the membership experience.

Former summer program attendee Kristi Kimura from Maui said, “Being able to visit places that many cannot and making a positive impact on the land and culture I call home was the best part. by HYCC. [Hawaiʻi Youth Conservation Corps]. I discovered the many different paths within sustainability and conservation to better understand what I would like to pursue a future career in. This program influenced my future plans by consolidating what I would like to pursue as a career. Kupu provided a very humbling experience that a lot of people aren’t fortunate enough to have.


Former HYCC participant Mikela Parris from Molokaʻi added: “I think each site has done a very good job in educating us about the history of the place and making us feel included. I love hearing our seniors talk about their past experiences and how it shaped them into who 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’s hard work, but it’s important. ”

For questions, e-mail [email protected] or dial 808-735-1221 ext 2001.

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