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PUEO Program

Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunities



Founded at Punahou School in 2005, the Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program aims to serve and support scholars with unlimited potential and limited economic resources.  The PUEO Program embodies the essence of Punahou’s commitment to be a private school serving a larger public purpose through meaningful partnerships with other schools and educators. PUEO Scholars are supported with a 7-year academic scholarship from grades 6 – 12.

The PUEO (Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunities) Program provides a consistent and comprehensive summer learning program which includes year-round events to foster a cohort experience and continuum of learning. PUEO’s mission is to graduate scholars with the skills, confidence and resilience to be college ready.

Criteria for Scholar Selection

Scholars are nominated by administrators and counselors from Hawai`i Department of Education schools to participate in the PUEO Program following their fifth-grade year based on four primary criteria:

  1. Scholars represent the middle of their academic class
  2. Scholars have demonstrated strong character traits
  3. Scholars have a supportive family
  4. Scholars are part of the federal free or reduced lunch program

Summer Learning Matters

PUEO provides a summer learning program to promote academic readiness for the upcoming school year, helping to address the achievement gap associated with an absence of summer learning. We provide summer educational resources and opportunities that might otherwise not be available for our scholars. And we consistently offer these resources and opportunities via a seven-year academic support system.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunities that the PUEO Program has given me. Not only did it help to further my education, but it has also guided my future.”
– Megan K., PUEO Class of 2020

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The Five Week Summer School Experience

P1 (PUEO Year 1)Rising 6th Graders

  • Engineering and Design
  • Coding and Design
  • PUEO Nest: Reading/Math Enrichment and Skill Building
  • I Kū Wa (Stand and Deliver)

P2 (PUEO Year 2)Rising 7th Graders

  • Marine Biology
  • PUEO Nest: Reading/Math Enrichment and Skill Building
  • I Kū Wa (Stand and Deliver)

P3 (PUEO Year 3)Rising 8th Graders

  • Forensic Science and Math
  • Performing Arts

P4 (PUEO Year 4)Rising 9th Graders

  • Modern Hawaiian History 0.5 DOE REQUIRED CREDIT
  • PUEO Nest: Research and Analytical Writing Skills

P5 (PUEO Year 5)Rising 10th Graders

  • Participation in A Democracy 0.5 DOE REQUIRED CREDIT
  • PUEO Nest: Research and Analytical Writing Skills
  • Available Electives: Art or Financial Literacy 0.5 DOE ELECTIVE CREDIT

P6 (PUEO Year 6)Rising 11th Graders

  • Integrated Performance Project 0.5 DOE ELECTIVE CREDIT
  • Test Preparation for College Entrance 0.5 DOE ELECTIVE CREDIT

P7 (PUEO Year 7)Rising 12th Graders

  • Group Communication and Leadership 0.5 DOE ELECTIVE CREDIT
  • Career and Life Planning 0.5 DOE ELECTIVE CREDIT

College Readiness

PUEO is committed to creating a culture of college readiness across the program. PUEO’s vision of college readiness includes the successful completion of both PUEO and a high school program as well as enrollment in a postsecondary course of study. To achieve this, PUEO provides opportunities for scholars to hone and develop the skills, confidence and resilience to meet this expectation. Scholars visit college and university campuses throughout the year. PUEO scholar graduates, college counselors and admissions representatives answer questions about college life (admissions, financial aid, dormitory life, and extracurricular activities) in order to frame college as a reality.

“Throughout these past seven years of being in the PUEO Program, I have been given countless opportunities that I am so thankful for. It has provided vast amounts of resources for my peers and I academically [as well as] a community to be around that the majority of students do not have access to… Enrolling in the English 100 course was an effective way to introduce me to the reality of college courses and campus life.”
– Logan C., Class of 2020

The Academic Year

The summer learning cohort experience is extended through year-round events. Scholars reunite with their friends during the school year for a variety of activities and events aimed at developing the skills, confidence and resilience toward college readiness.

  • PSAT Testing (P5)
  • SAT Testing (P6)
  • College Application and Financial Aid Workshop (P7)
  • PUEO College Visit (P7)
  • PUEO Fall Event (P1, P2, P3, P4, P5)
  • PUEO Spring Event (P1, P2; P4)
  • PUEO Lū ‘au (Incoming P1’s and P4’s)
  • PUEO College Preview (P6)

“Being able to make friends that I can call my boys was the best experience even though we are from different zip codes. PUEO was a great experience and if everyone could get the opportunity to do this program I would say do it and make sure you finish it because out of everyone, you were chosen to make a change in your family and community.”
– Jaron H.W., Class of 2020

Hear program participants share their personal stories and experience with PUEO...

PUEO College Scholarship Program

PUEO Scholars may apply to the PUEO College Scholarship Program, generously supported by the Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation, Inc., with additional support from the Akaka Foundation. These scholarship awards recognize PUEO scholars who exemplify the qualities of hard work, academic achievement, commitment to excellence, a proven dedication to our community and a demonstrated need for financial assistance. The awards may be used at any accredited two- or four-year college or university and will be paid directly to the recipient scholar’s college or university account.

About The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation

In January 1967, developer Clarence T.C. Ching successfully bid on a contract to build an affordable housing complex on a 19.5-acre tract at Vineyard Boulevard and Liliha Street in Honolulu. Envisioning the “Kukui Gardens” project as a way to give back to the community, Mr. Ching next sought to form a non-profit organization to sponsor the ambitious undertaking.

The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, via trust agreement, was officially established on August 8, 1967. In the years following Mr. Ching’s passing in 1985, the Foundation continued to support non-profit agencies and educational institutions in Hawai`i. In January 2006, the Foundation announced its intention to sell Kukui Gardens. In December 2007, the housing complex was sold to Carmel Partners Inc. and the State of Hawai`i for $132.5 million.

Since then, the Foundation has committed to donate more than $80 million to a number of educational and health institutions in the community. Today, the Foundation continues to fulfill Mr. Ching’s vision of helping Hawai`i’s needy, sick and aged.

Additional program supporters

  • Tsuha Foundation
  • Sidney Stern Memorial Trust
  • Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation
  • Ho’ea Foundation
  • Thomas W. Smith Foundation
  • Rev. Abraham Kahu Akaka Family Foundation
    and other generous donors

Founding Donors

  • Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • Unbound Philanthropy
  • Harold K.L. Castle Foundation

PUEO Program Timeline

Punahou School launches the PUEO Program in partnership with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education with generous support from the founding donors: Unbound Philanthropy, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, and others. Punahou School demonstrates its larger public purpose by providing the PUEO Program with the use of its vast facilities and human resources.

The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation announces a three million dollar grant to support the PUEOProgram over the subsequent six years. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, the program was renamed the Clarence T. C. Ching PUEO Program.

The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation expands its commitment to PUEO with an additional grant of six million dollars over the subsequent 10 years.