In July 2010, Punahou School launched and hosted the inaugural Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI), an annual initiative made possible by generous grants from the Edward E. Ford Foundation and the Education Research Initiative (a partnership of Lenovo, Intel and Microsoft), with additional support from the Freeman Foundation and the Luke Center for Chinese Studies. Subsequently, SGLI received grants from the Stephen E. and Isabella H. Stevens World Peace Foundation. Currently, the Luke Family generously supports SGLI as it enters its 10th year.

The purpose of the Institute is to develop a community of international youth leaders who understand and are engaged in shared global challenges and who galvanize positive social change. The Institute explores leadership development characterized by creativity, a capacity for problem-solving, collaboration, communication and multicultural perspectives.

The Institute focuses on engaging students in team-developed community service projects, addressing worldwide issues such as the environment, economics and globalization. The yearlong program includes an intensive two-week summit at Punahou School, during which students participate in workshops, discussions and field trips that help them develop social-action projects suitable for their home cities — and the collaborative style of leadership needed to carry them out.

The students implement the projects during their senior year, aided by a customized computer network that allows them to track their progress, support one another through online discussions, broaden their social perspective and exchange ideas with different cultures. A diverse network of mentors, including faculty, nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs, provide support.

Program Themes

Moral Courage 2019 (High School)
Future Cities 2019 (Middle School)
Social Conscience 2018
Peace 2017
Conservation 2016
Equity 2015
Cities 2014
Food 2013
Health 2012
Energy 2011
Water Security and Sustainability 2010


Participating Schools (2019)

High Schools
United States
  • Bronxville High School (Bronxville, NY)
  • The Chapin School (New York, NY)
  • The Haverford School (Haverford, PA)
  • Punahou School (Honolulu, HI)
  • St. Paul’s (Brooklandville, MD)
  • St. Paul’s School for Girls (Brooklandville, MD)
  • Wai‘anae High School (Wai‘anae, HI)
  • Waiākea High School (Hilo, HI)
  • Chinese International School (Hong Kong)
  • High School Affiliated to Fudan University (Shanghai)
  • High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (Beijing)
  • Shanghai #3 Girls School
  • Ordrup Gymnasium (Charlottenlund)
  • Hitchin Girls’ School (Hertfordshire)
  • Lycee Sainte Marie du Port (Olonne-sur-Me)
  • Oakridge International School (Hyderabad)
  • Fukui High School (Fukui)
  • Gakushin Boys Senior High School (Tokyo)
  • Gakushuin Girls Junior and Senior High School (Tokyo)
  • International Christian University High School (Tokyo)
  • Keio Shiki High School (Saitama)
New Zealand
  • St. Peter’s School (Cambridge)
Republic of Korea
  • Daewon Foreign Language High School (Seoul)
  • Kingussie High School (Kingussie)
  • Viktor Rydberg School (Djursholm)
Middle Schools
United States
  • Punahou School (Honolulu, HI)
  • Middle School Affiliated with Fudan University (Shanghai)
  • Pathways School (Gurgaon)
  • Fukui Junior High School (Fukui)
Republic of Korea
  • Daewon International Middle School (Seoul)

SGLI Around the World

Punahou is working with its partner schools not only to bring their students to Hawaii, but also to create parallel programs around the world, such as the Oakridge SGLI program in Hyderabad, India, creating a truly global leadership program. The SGLI India program is currently supported by funding from the Jhanmandas Watumull Foundation.


Apply to Punahou

Now accepting applications for the 2020 – 2021 school year. All applications and supporting documents will be submitted online. Use the button below to begin or continue the application process.