Luke Center for Public Service

The Luke Center for Public Service educates and inspires the Punahou community to realize a just and sustainable world through mentorship, community connections, curriculum, and professional development.

It is the hub for service at Punahou, a campus-wide effort to make service an essential feature of a Punahou education. Partnerships with our community are slated toward the needs of our partners and not the other way around. There are numerous ways that students at Punahou engage with the broader community. Below are some examples.

List of 4 items.

  • Distinction in Public Service

    The Distinction in Public Service is granted to Punahou Academy students who demonstrate a deep commitment to community engagement in a way that is meaningful, intentional, and impactful. 

    Students in the Public Service Distinction program pursue a multi-year journey to learn about themselves and how they fit into their community of interest. Along the way, they execute multi-year service projects. Upon completion of the Distinction requirements, student candidates exhibit their learning in a portfolio presentation that is reviewed by a panel of faculty. 

  • Events

    The Luke Center for Public Service organizes school-wide community events, fostering unity in our students to support initiatives that benefit the wider community. Events primarily focus on addressing issues such as food scarcity, sustainability, environmental stewardship, and humanitarian efforts. When relevant, Luke Center provides opportunities for students to initiate community projects related to natural disaster relief. 

  • Luke Leaders

    The Luke Leaders program is for students in grades 9- 12 with aspirations to build peace, organize community, fight injustice and change the world.

    The Luke Leaders program is designed to support student projects while working around busy school schedules. For students or groups ready to work with important community initiatives, it offers one-on-one meetings with mentors and occasional large group times to meet with and hear from other student changemakers.
  • Service curriculum and courses

    Punahou School's approach to service integration through the Luke Center  demonstrates a holistic commitment to nurturing socially-conscious and engaged individuals throughout their educational journey. The Luke Center for Public Service offers service-based learning directly into existing classrooms as requested. 

    It also serves as the home to the redesigned senior capstone program, Ke Kilohana. This reimagined program propels seniors into a transformative journey, solidifying their commitment to service and community engagement.

About the Luke Center

Punahou students and teachers have a long tradition of reaching out in purposeful service to the community.  In 2002, President James K. Scott proposed the creation of an entity to coordinate, support and enhance service, campus-wide. It was a commitment to help students use their knowledge and abilities-- not only to excel and learn, but also to serve one’s community. These guiding ideas aligned with Dr. Scott’s vision of a private school serving a public purpose. 

Funded by a generous gift from the K.J. Luke Family, the Luke Center for Public Service opened in April 2004. The building overlooks the Lily Pond at the heart of the Punahou School campus. Today the Luke Center serves  K-12 students at Punahou School through its programs that have become woven into the fabric of the school's curriculum.
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