Sustainability Initiatives

In 2011, the Rewarding Internships for Sustainable Employment program was created to provide paid work opportunities for youth seeking green careers. Shortly after, it was re-branded as RISE and became a core Kupu program. Today, with growing interest from our partners, we are expanding RISE into a larger Sustainability Initiative which will encompass all sustainability opportunities through Kupu.

This transition is a strong effort to grow Hawaiʻi’s green economy by pairing young professionals with innovative sustainable development projects that align with their interests. Sustainability fellows are individually placed at private, public and non-profit partner sites where they receive technical training through office and/or field experience as well as mentorship from Kupu staff. They earn competitive pay for their work. Fellows also participate in professional development workshops which provide time for fellows to connect with their peers and green thought leaders from the local community.

AmeriCorps VISTA Member – California Conservation Corpsmember Development | APPLY NOW

Kupu Citizen Forester Team Member | POSITION DESCRIPTION | APPLY NOW

Kupu provides partners with the support they need to run a successful program or project.  Ranging from the capable minds and fresh perspectives of the Sustainability Fellows to the technical project support and expertise of the Project Managers, Kupu is an asset to any endeavor.  Kupu handles the hiring, HR, training, and mentoring of each fellow to ensure both the successful execution of our partner’s projects and a successful learning experience for each Sustainability Fellow.

By working with Kupu you will get the project support you need while also contributing to building a strong green work force in Hawaiʻi.  By empowering Hawaiʻi’s youth with the experience they need to become strong green professionals, we are committing to the long term sustainability of our planet.

Prior to Hiring

Compatible Skills

Tasks that fit the skills for a college-level or recent graduate fellow and fit in with Hawaiʻi’s sustainability goals

Funding & Vision

Funding, or a vision/ path to acquire funding (e.g., through a grant), for a fellow

Project Team

A “Project Team” which may consist of only one dedicated supervisor or a collaboration of staff (even if from different organizations). The Project Team will be responsible for assigning tasks, accepting deliverables, and providing feedback to the fellow

Supplies & Equipment

All on-site supplies for the fellowship, which may include: office space/ work site location, computer (requiring fellows to use their own computer is an option) and/or phone

Sustainable Sector

A desire to contribute to workforce development in Hawaiʻi’s sustainability sector

Hiring Process


Interested parties meet with Kupu Coordinators to discuss interest in the program and discuss the perspective Sustainability Fellowship position including logistics such as funding and timing.

Position Description

With Kupu assistance, create and finalize a fellowship position description.


Kupu will review the position description to ensure the position qualifies as a Sustainability Fellowship

Contract & Funding

Contracts and funding is produced for the fellowship position with Kupu .


Kupu conducts the application, recruiting, and selection process. This process may include the Project Team as desired or conducted independently by Kupu staff


After the initial orientation, fellows begin projects at the site

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