Maui Business

Applications Available for Kupu Summer and Year-Round Conservation Programs

February 1, 2018, 10:52 AM HST
* Updated February 1, 12:51 PM
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HYCC Summer Maui Team at Puu Kukui. Photo Courtesy

Applications are now available for Kupu’s Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps Summer and year-round Conservation Leadership Development programs on Maui.

Selected participants will gain a cultural and environmental education, hands-on job training and scholarship money, while serving the community, preserving our natural resources and visiting some of the most breathtaking conservation sites. Youth from 17-years-old can apply for the free programs.

“Kupu’s HYCC Summer and Conservation Leadership Development programs are the core of our conservation initiatives,” said John Leong, Kupu CEO. “These programs offer cultural and environmental education and provide unique hands-on job training and skills that have helped so many of our program alumni to establish successful careers in Hawai‘i’s green jobs workforce.”

Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program

Kupu’s seasonal Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps Summer program is a full-time, seven-week program available statewide. Select applicants on Maui will work in teams to engage in outdoor conservation work like clearing invasive vegetation, planting native species, maintaining trails and parks, and restoring cultural and environmental sites throughout the island.


Team member applicants must be between 17-20 years old. Upon completing the program, they will receive volunteer and education award stipends, and may qualify for college credit. Team leaders, who oversee team members, must be 21 years or older and will also receive an education award in addition to living allowances.


The HYCC Summer program starts with a one-week training camp on O‘ahu for team leaders on May 29 and on June 4 for members. The program ends on July 20, 2018, followed by graduation ceremonies on each island.

This summer, Kupu is seeking up to 12 team members and two team leaders for its Maui teams. Applications are now available for both positions online. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

“Kupu meant seven weeks of hard work and being constantly surrounded by people, but everything is worth it,” said former HYCC-Summer Maui team member Quinn Shiraishi. “I notice that I am so much more happy and content with myself when I am outdoors and even more when I am working hard to give back. Kupu means that you sacrifice a lot, but what you get back is so much more than that.”


Conservation Leadership Development Program

For those interested in a more extensive, entry-level job training opportunities, Kupu offers an eight-week summer or 10-month year-round Conservation Leadership Development program, in which individuals will be placed at a conservation and natural resource management non-profit or government agency throughout the state or Pacific.

Applicants must be 17 years or older and if selected will receive living allowances and education award money to use toward higher education, while gaining mentoring and job-training working on in-office or outdoor field projects.

The eight-week summer program runs from June 11 to Aug. 3, 2018. Applications are available online and due by Feb. 28, 2018. Positions for the extended, 10-month internship program start in October 2018, and applications will be available from Feb. 1 until positions are filled. Priority placement will be given to selected participants who apply by June 30, 2018. Applications and more information are available here.

“Kupu has bridged the gap between conservation and Hawaiian culture for me,” said the US Fish & Wildlife Service Conservation Leader Keely Hassett, who worked at various refuge sites, including Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. “It has provided me with a foundation of purpose and service which I will take with me into the rest of my career.”

For more information about each program and for participant testimonials, visit here.

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