How Does the Curriculum Empower Youth?
- Connects them with leading local and international sustainability leaders
- Engages them in hands-on projects around sustainability issues
- Helps them cultivate the mindset required to address the pressing challenges of our time
- Provides authentic research and paid internship experiences to pave the way for college and career pathways
What is the Format of the Program?
The program will span two consecutive summer sessions and culminate with a public presentation of a sustainability project. During the academic year, Fellows will also participate in a guided Sustainability Challenge Project, monthly meetings with a mentor, and quarterly gatherings with the cohort of Fellows.
What is the Timing of the Program?
The program will begin with its first cohort of Fellows starting in June 2024. Please see below for further details.
Summer Session #1
June 10 – July 19, 2024
Students spend six weeks in the program with an expected commitment of four hours per day. They focus on sharpening critical-thinking skills by exploring essential questions around sustainability, engaging in experiential learning activities, and building community relationships.
Intervening School Year (2024 – 2025)
Fellows will meet monthly during the academic school year to receive mentoring. During the academic year, students will also pursue a research-based Sustainability Challenge Project, which will help them to define an essential topic that they will explore during the program’s second summer session.
Summer Session #2
June 11 – July 20, 2025
Fellows will reunite at the beginning of the summer for a unique educational trip to Hawaiʻi Island. There, they will engage in hands-on activities and place-based learning with partners on the island. Following this trip, Fellows will intern or volunteer for at least four weeks with a community partner/mentor who will support them to advance their Sustainability Challenge Project. They will also participate in regular seminar classes with their fellow cohort members. The program culminates with a public presentation of their research project.
I can only participate in one summer session – can I still apply?
This is a 15 month program – Fellows are required to participate in both summer sessions. They are also expected to participate in the periodic meetings during the intervening school year.
What is the cost of the program?
Punahou School is underwriting the cost of this initiative, making it free for all selected participants.
What criteria are you looking for in a Fellow?
Strong applicants will demonstrate a commitment to the full two-summer program and be able to explain how the fellowship aligns with their long-term commitment to sustainability. Competitive applicants will also demonstrate a strong academic record, exhibit a deep sense of curiosity, and demonstrate a strong interest in learning alongside stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and varying perspectives.
Please note that admission into the program will be competitive and with limited capacity. Applications will be reviewed by a select committee of faculty and community organizations.
I am not an enrolled Punahou School student. Can I still apply?
Yes! All current ninth and tenth-grade students across the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and Independent Schools are invited to apply. This program seeks students from a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.