30 Oct Kupu Selected as Saltchuk Grant Recipient


Kupu Selected as Saltchuk Grant Recipient

Funds Will Help Kupu Enhance its HYCC Summer Program

HONOLULU – Kupu, a conservation and education nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a recipient of the Saltchuk Hawai‘i Region Grant. Saltchuk, which owns interisland freight handling company Young Brothers, presented the grant to Kupu at a ceremony on Oct. 10.

The funds will support Kupu’s Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program. With the goal of providing job and life skills training, HYCC Summer offers young adults the opportunity to work alongside various environmental organizations throughout the state on projects that include invasive species removal, trail restoration, watershed protection, and more.

“We are so grateful for Saltchuk’s dedication to Hawai‘i’s youth and environment,” says Kupu CEO John Leong. “Our HYCC Summer Program has had a tremendous impact on Hawai‘i’s precious natural resources, as well as on the lives of its young participants statewide. Thanks to this generous donation, Kupu will be able to enhance this program in a continued effort to restore and maintain our land and serve our youth.”

HYCC Summer program manager Nicki Ozaki and program coordinator Kepa Barrett with Saltchuk’s Glenn Hong

Kupu’s HYCC Summer is the organization’s longest-running program. Launched in 2001 as the Youth Conservation Corps, HYCC Summer now serves about 100 young adults each year. Program participants gain job experience, cultural knowledge, and personal and professional development skills. Plus, participants also have the opportunity to earn college credit and an AmeriCorps education award to support their future endeavors.

“This program has been an incredible resource of networking for me,” says one former HYCC Summer participant. “Through members of my team, site managers, and my leader, I was able to connect with people in ways that not only helped me to feel rooted in my culture, but prepare me for success in my future. This summer has been an incredible adventure for me that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

“I would say that this experience has been truly life changing,” says another former participant. “I have learned so much about not just the environment or the network of individuals within the conservation community but also a lot about myself. It has awakened a fire within me to create a change and that even something small can be a part of making a difference.”



About Kupu

Established in 2007 as a Honolulu-based 501 (c)3 nonprofit, Kupu empowers future generations to create a more sustainable, pono Hawai‘i. The organization provides hands-on training programs that educate and mentor youth to become stewards of our culture and

environment. Since 2007, Kupu has trained more than 3,500 youth in conservation, sustainability, and environmental education. Last year alone, Kupu generated more than $22 million in economic benefits for the state, distributed $662,569 in education awards, removed 10,609 acres of invasive species, and restored 117,817 native plants to their natural habitats.

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