Maui News

Last Call for Applications for Hawaiʻi Youth Sustainability Challenge

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The sixth Hawaiʻi Youth Sustainability Challenge is still accepting applications until Oct. 8, 2021. Screen shot courtesy of Kupu.

The deadline to apply for the Hawai‘i Youth Sustainability Challenge, an initiative to empower youth from across the state of Hawai‘i to create solutions to conservation and sustainability challenges in their schools and communities, is Oct. 8, 2021.

The challenge, in its sixth year, is for students in grades 9-12 statewide. Selected students will receive funding, mentorship and training to support their personal innovative and grassroots environmental initiatives.

The Hawaiʻi Youth Sustainability Challenge (HYSC) also encourages students to solve “community partnership challenges,” which are problems organizations from across the state confront that they feel would benefit from creative solutions developed by students. This year 12 federal, state and community organizations have submitted 20 different challenges for students to tackle.   


Projects are awarded up to $1,000 for supplies and materials based on scope and need. Awardees also receive a HYSC mentor and training to support successful project implementation. Projects begin in December 2021 and must be completed by May 2022. Students, together with a teacher advisor, are invited to apply. All projects must be student-driven. To learn more and apply, visit:   

“We are so excited for this year’s pool of youth applicants,” said Natalie McKinney, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation Senior Program Director . “We really hope that some of our new programming and partnerships will bring in innovative and meaningful proposals and will support our amazing students in their efforts to create a more resilient Hawaiʻi.” 

For the past five school years, HYSC has awarded more than $65,000 to support the completion of more than 100 projects and 167 student leaders on five Hawaiian Islands. 


The Hawai‘i Youth Sustainability Challenge is a legacy initiative of the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress, where it was first announced by first lady Dawn Amano-Ige, with the goal of inspiring youth to engage with the environment through action, advocacy and education. 

The Hawai‘i Youth Sustainability Challenge is a program of Kupu and Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation and is supported by Kamehameha Schools, Public Schools of Hawaiʻi Foundation, American Savings Bank, Hawaiian Electric, Pacific Current, Finance Factors, Elemental Excelerator and Sidney Stern Memorial Trust. 


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