30 Jan Applications for Kupu Summer and Year-Round Conservation Programs Now Available

Programs provide unique hands-on green job training and environmental stewardship experiences

HONOLULU – Kupu, Hawai’i’s leading conservation and youth education organization announced that applications are now open for its Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) Summer and year-round Conservation Leadership Development programs. Youth from 17 years old statewide can apply for the free programs, which provide cultural and environmental education and job training opportunities available throughout the state.

“Kupu’s HYCC Summer and Conservation Leadership Development programs are the core of our conservation initiatives,” said John Leong, Kupu CEO. “These programs offer cultural and environmental education and provide unique hands-on job training and skills that have helped so many of our program alumni to establish successful careers in Hawai‘i’s green jobs workforce.”

Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program

Kupu’s seasonal Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) Summer program is a full-time, seven-week program available statewide. Select applicants will work in teams to engage in outdoor conservation work like clearing invasive vegetation, planting native species, maintaining trails and parks, and restoring cultural and environmental sites.

Team member applicants must be between 17-20 years old. Upon completing the program, they will receive volunteer and education award stipends, and may qualify for college credit. Team leaders, who oversee team members, must be 21 years or older and will also receive an education award in addition to living allowances.

The HYCC Summer program starts with a one-week training camp on O‘ahu for team leaders on May 29 and on June 4 for members. The program ends on July 20, 2018, followed by graduation ceremonies on each island.

This summer, Kupu is seeking around 80 team members and 17 team leaders for teams on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i and west and east Hawai‘i Island. Applications are now available for both positions online at www.kupuhawaii.org/hycc-summer/. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

“I would say that this experience has been truly life-changing,” said former HYCC-Summer program member KawaiLehua Santiago. “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 part of making a difference.”

Conservation Leadership Development Program

For those interested in a more extensive, entry-level job training opportunities, Kupu offers an eight-week summer or 10-month year-round Conservation Leadership Development program (CLDP), in which individuals will be placed at a conservation and natural resource management non-profit or government agency throughout the state or Pacific.

Applicants must be 17 years or older and if selected will receive living allowances and education award money to use toward higher education, while gaining mentoring and job-training working on in-office or outdoor field projects.

The eight-week summer program runs from June 11-Aug. 3, 2018. Applications are available online and due by Feb. 28, 2018. Positions for the extended, 10-month internship program start in October 2018, and applications will be available from Feb. 1 until positions are filled. Priority placement will be given to selected participants who apply by June 30, 2018. Applications and more information are available www.kupuhawaii.org/conservation/.

“Kupu has bridged the gap between conservation and Hawaiian culture for me,” said the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conservation Leader Keely Hassett, who worked at various refuge sites, including Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. “It has provided me with a foundation of purpose and service which I will take with me into the rest of my career.”

A summary of the different opportunities is included below. For more information about each program and for participant testimonials, visit www.kupuhawaii.org/programs/.

Organizations or companies seeking conservation youth corps services or interns to work on environmental projects, may partner with Kupu to become host sites for its current programs, or create new position opportunities. Kupu staff manages and mentors program participants to best prepare them for their positions and provide quality work throughout their program. To learn more about how you can become a Kupu program partner, visit www.kupuhawaii.org/programs/ or email outreach@kupuhawaii.org.

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SUMMARY: Kupu Summer & Year-Round Program Opportunities

PROGRAMS HYCC-Summer CLDP Summer CLDP Year-Round





(work in groups at various sites)


(work within an assigned organization)





Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i and Hawai‘i Island (Hilo & Kona)




Team Member 17-20


Team Leader







Team Member

7 weeks

June 4-

July 20, 2018


Team Leader

8 weeks

May 29-

July 20, 2018



8 weeks

June 11-

Aug. 3, 2018


Oct. 2018-Aug. 2019

(dates TBA)



Feb. 28, 2018


Priority placement given to those who apply by June 30, 2018












All programs are FREE to apply and participate




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