Goodwill Industries of Hawaii Inc. has received a one-year $125,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for its Ola I Ka Hana (to live and thrive by means of your work) Youth Program.
The Ola program will work to improve Hawaii State Assessment (HSA) scores of Native Hawaiian middle- and high-school students attending Department of Education schools in Hawaii County.
As part of its strategic priority of Ho‘ona‘auao (education), OHA aims to maximize choice of life and work for Native Hawaiians to gain knowledge and excel in educational opportunities at all levels.
Goodwill will use the grant from OHA to provide youth specialists as mentors to address student life, social, educational and employment challenges; to provide tutoring and homework support during and after school, and to provide basic math and reading skills training, in furtherance of OHA’s strategic plan.
The OHA funding will allow Ola I Ka Hana to provide services to 60 youths in East and West Hawaii. Enrolled program participants will receive a comprehensive intake and assessment and standards-based reading and math pre-testing and subsequent post-testing.
The OHA grant will benefit residents in East and West Hawaii, and staffers are being hired on both sides of the island to provide these services. Bettye S. Williams is the Hawaii County operations director.
Students who perform below proficiency in standardized testing will receive additional tutoring and educational services. Goodwill is currently recruiting for a full-time youth specialist and part-time tutor in West Hawaii.
“Goodwill Industries of Hawaii is honored to be the recipient of this grant which will enable us to expand our range and scope of services for Native Hawaiians and contribute to the academic readiness of Native Hawaiian youth,” noted Williams. For more information on the program, please contact her at 961-0307.
Williams said Goodwill Industries of Hawaii’s mission is to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient. Supported by its retail operations and financial endeavors, its educational, employment and training programs have provided skills training, employment counseling, job placement and support services since 1959.
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