Social Responsibility and Entrepreneurship

A Punahou education develops values and character as much as it does intellectual or physical ability, preparing children for a lifetime of personal fulfillment, authenticity and purpose. While our students may be dramatically diverse in personality and interests, they embody the core values central to our institutional culture: empathy, collaboration, creativity, innovation, social responsibility, global awareness and moral leadership. The attentive cultivation of these values is what sets them apart in the world and what inspires Punahou graduates to a lifelong sense of personal and public purpose.

As an expression of Punahou’s commitment to be a “private school with a public purpose,” Luke Center for Public Service inspires service learning and social entrepreneurship from kindergarten through grade 12. Thousands of students have assumed volunteer leadership roles and projects since the center’s founding in 2004, and our goal is to increase opportunities for students, faculty and community leaders to explore relevant, real-world action that improves the lives of others as a core educational value at Punahou.

Educating for a sustainable future is embedded in the Aims of a Punahou Education. Since the 2005 Sustainability Summit convened by President Jim Scott '70, which urged for greener practices at both the institutional and personal level, the School has advanced this goal in a variety of ways. In addition to fostering a campus culture that holds environmental stewardship as a core value inside and outside the classroom, Punahou has invested significantly in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and to be a model for other schools in sustainable facilities design, programs and teaching philosophies.

On any given day, teachers and students K – 12 are engaged in countless activities designed to encourage sustainable awareness and behavior. They include many formal curricular programs such as the K – 1 focus on Mauka to Makai; the third-grade Hawaiian Studies curriculum with its emphasis on the connection between culture and environment; the K – 8 Outdoor Education program, with its service projects, nature field trips and overnight camps; and Academy courses like AP Environmental Science, which teaches real-world applications of contemporary social and environmental issues.