Hawaiʻi Youth Conservation Corps summer program applications now open
Kupu, Hawai‘i’s leading conservation and youth education nonprofit, is hosting the Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program (HYCC-Summer), which offers an intensive hands-on experience into the world of conservation. Kupu is inviting applicants to apply on Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island. The deadline to apply is Feb. 17, 2023.
Kristi Kimura of Maui said: “Being able to visit places that many are unable to, and creating a positive impact on the land and the culture that I call home was the best part of HYCC. I learned about the many different pathways within sustainability and conservation to get a better understanding of what I would like to pursue a future career in. This program has influenced my future plans by solidifying what I would like to pursue as a career. Kupu has provided a very humbling experience that many people do not get the chance to have.”
Mikela Parris of Molokaʻi said: “I think each site did a very good job of educating us about the history of the place and making us feel included. I love hearing from our elders about their past experiences and how that shaped them into the person they are today. I learned how important stewardship is and how important it is to remove invasive species so that our native ecosystems can thrive. It is hard work, but it is important.”
The program runs for seven weeks from June 5 to July 23, 2023. If selected, participants are partnered within a team of like-minded individuals and each week they will get to explore and serve within a different partner site, which holds new adventures, challenges, teachings and opportunities for personal growth. Participants will get to learn about a variety of ecosystems, natural resource management techniques, and cultural practices unique to Hawai‘i.
“We’re looking for motivated individuals to join us as either Team Members or Team Leaders,” explains Kupu Recruiting Specialist, Anna Garcia. “Team members are typically between the ages of 17 – 22 and often complete the program between school semesters. The ideal applicant is someone with a positive attitude, curious about nature, interested in learning, and a desire to strengthen their community through service.”
Team Member Benefits:
The Volunteer Service Award that members receive upon completion of the program has been raised to $1,000 this year. In addition to the monetary award, the program offers First Aid & CPR certification and a $1,374.60 AmeriCorps Education Award (similar to a scholarship). Most importantly, it also offers the chance to gain valuable experiential environmental education, build close relationships with their peers, and strengthen life skills relevant to any career.
“Team Leaders hold a greater responsibility and will have the opportunity to really strengthen their leadership skills throughout the program,” Garcia explains. “The Team Leader role is available to those 21 and older. They are the backbone for the team, responsible for assisting, coordinating and inspiring the members each day. Ideally, applicants have experience in leading groups and have knowledge pertaining to unique Hawaiʻi native plants, and customs. They play an integral role in the success of the program and forming the experience the members have.”
Team Leader Benefits:
The compensation for Team Leaders has also been raised this year to a $15/hour rate, plus overtime as applicable and fringe benefits. Team Leaders will have the chance to network with conservation professionals and potential employers.
“Participating in HYCC-Summer is such a great way to not only give back to the environment, but to truly grow as an individual. You’ll gain a broader perspective, become more knowledgeable about the world around you, and you’ll form such strong bonds with your peers. On the professional end, visiting so many different host sites will help you figure out what type of work you enjoy most and would like to pursue in the future!”
In order to provide the participants with a wide range of experiences, Kupu partners with nonprofit organizations and government agencies that mentor the teams and guide them through conservation projects. As a Kupu partner, the organization will receive extra support at an affordable rate, with the option to host teams for 1-6 weeks.
Team Members and Leaders, Apply online: https://kupuhawaii.tfaforms.net/267
The participant application deadline is Feb. 17, 2023.
Host Sites, Apply online: https://kupuhawaii.tfaforms.net/271
The host site application deadline is Jan. 28, 2023.
For more information, visit: https://www.kupuhawaii.org/hycc-summer/
For questions, email [email protected] or call 808.735.1221 x2001.