Rewarding Outstanding Keiki

By David Hulihe'e
Wednesday - December 16, 2009
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By David Hulihe’e
President & CEO of Grace Pacific

More than a decade ago, Kapolei was emerging as a new city, and Grace Pacific wanted to become a community partner to the many hardworking families, businesses and schools that were building up the area. That was the start of Grace Pacific’s Outstanding Keiki Program, which is based on the belief that nurturing and rewarding young people’s development ensures a positive community in the future.

Now 12 years old, the annual program honors students who attend Kapolei, Makakilo, Mauka Lani and Barbers Point elementary schools. Students, with their teachers’oversight, select 20 fifth-grade students from each school based on their exemplary commitment to leadership, academics, citizenship, and civic and community participation. Those selected enjoy a fun-filled day of team-building activities at Camp Timberline followed by an awards dinner with their families and teachers at Kapolei Middle School. It is a great way for kids to be recognized and to stay motivated, as well as to meet kids from other schools as they prepare for the transition from elementary to middle school.

U’ilani Hayes, Outstanding Keiki 2009, with Grace Pacific’s Jay Obrey

Upon graduation from high school, Outstanding Keiki are eligible for scholarships through the Grace Pacific-sponsored Outstanding Scholars program. Every year we give out $20,000 in scholarships based on the same qualities that made them Outstanding Keiki when they were fifth-graders.

It’s an amazing experience for me and everyone else at Grace Pacific to be able to follow these incredible young people through their transition from elementary to intermediate and then again from high school to college. It reminds us that Kapolei will continue to be a remarkable city with future leaders growing and thriving here.

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