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Ke Ala ʻike – Native Hawaiian Excellence Program

E hoʻā i ka lamakū e mālamalama ai ke ala ʻike o ka naʻauao.
“Strike the torch to illuminate the path to enlightenment!”

Immerse yourself in the beauty and wonders of the Hawaiian culture as you light the pathway for your academic success. Ke Ala ‘Ike will inspire Native Hawaiians, and all those who embrace the Hawaiian culture, to commit personal excellence toward their academic and cultural pursuits.

Complete the Ke Ala ‘Ike Program Application Form (external link. updated 10/24/13).
Please return this form to any Hālau ‘Ike o Pu‘uloa kumu/staff. You will be enrolled as a Ke Ala ‘Ike immediately after we receive your form.


Native Hawaiian STEM Opportunities
Ke Ala ʻike Graduates Manaʻo

Native Hawaiian STEM Opportunities

In an effort to increase Native Hawaiians in science, technological, engineering, and math career fields and to nurture all Leeward CC students’ passion for place-based sciences, Kipuka, Native Hawaiian Center at Pu‘uloa offers a wide array of culturally rich S.T.E.M. support activities.  From counseling to tutoring to mālamaʻāina to guest speakers, we want to help you graduate with an ʻike Hawaiʻi rich Associate of Science in Natural Sciences degree!

Ke Ala ʻike Graduates Manaʻo

“I will never forget this day, the Kīhei Hoʻokomo was powerful I could feel the presence of my kupuna and felt so haʻahaʻa in being able to accomplish the kuleana needed to be a part of this awesome ʻohana. Seeing all of the graduates in this ceremony was priceless. The formal ceremony was memorable, to be given the honor in leading the entire graduating class of 2014 was a proud moment. To see Kanaka Maoli leading the way was maikaʻi loa. What was even more special was watching to Ke Ala ʻIke haumāna give speeches. Mahalo Ke Ala ʻIke!”
Clarence Vierra, 2014, UH Mānoa, Social Work

“I feel this day was one of the best days in my life time. I will always refer the Ke Ala Ike program to someone else who is Hawaiian or even if they are not I will encourage them to go through it.”
Terri Lynn Torres, 2014, UH Mānoa, Psychology

“At each ceremony, I felt a strong stirring to continue in my college education and a desire to see more educated Hawaiian women holding positions in the college system who are not just professors, but chancellor, vice chancellor, positions like that.”
Jasmine Choy, 2014, UH Mānoa, Social Work

“I felt honored and privileged to have been selected to speak at the Kihei ceremony. Also to be the first person to receive my degree before the 300 something other graduates blew me away. I am still feeling the repercussions of happiness and joy I felt at the graduation. I am not used to success, but this event has increased my confidence to keep me pressing forward and I will forever be grateful.”
Stephen Yap, 2013, UH West Oʻahu, Psychology

“At the Leeward commencement I was elated to hear all the other graduates say “wow, that’s a lot of Ke Ala ʻIke scholars”. It made me proud to know we as the Ka papa kala represented a vast number of haumana that appreciate the culture, bond, and Halau. This was a life changing experience for me. Mahalo nui loa for making this graduation experience a memorable one.”
Jo’el Gionson, 2013, UH West Oʻahu, Hawaiian/Pacific Studies

“The motivational and financial support I received from the staff and mentors in the Hālau throughout my time at Leeward was inspirational to say the least. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are available and always seek perfection.”
Bronson Dodder, 2013, UH Mānoa, Engineering

“The Ke Ala ‘Ike was a big part of shaping who I am. Even though I am not of Hawaiian ancestry, the program helped me get rooted in the cultures I truly am. I was able to have a deep discussion with my grandmother about our moʻokūʻauhau and it made me feel so appreciative towards my ethnicity. I was born and raised in Hawaii and grew up around Hawaiians. Ke Ala ‘Ike showed me the similarities to my cultures and Hawaiian cultures.”
Maisha Abbott, 2012, UH West Oʻahu, Agroecology

“I have been very busy throughout my time at Leeward CC but I often like to stop by the Halau and “talk stories” with some of the kumu’s and counselors and especially the incredibly positive students that love to hang out there. The manaʻo that students share with me truly opened my eyes on several occasions and helped me to understand more of my own culture. The Halau is full of Aloha and one can immediately feel this vibe upon entering. I love to tell students about the Halau when I take them on campus tours, it is one of my favorite stops because just like the Halau has helped me it can also help these new students succeed and feel comfortable at their new campus.”
Keokolo Akina, UH West Oʻahu, 2012, Business Administration

“My advice for all haumana is to stay focus keep your eyes on the goal “Kulia I ka Nu’u;” at the end it will all be worth it. If ever you feel overwhelmed with school go to the Halau and talk to someone. There is always someone with good manaʻo to share with you.”
Makalapua Bumanglag, 2012, KCC Nursing

“One thing that I’ve liked about the Leeward CC classes and Kumu is that they are very personable and care about you. Each class is centered directly on the students, which makes a comfortable environment to work in. Being a part of the Hālau has brought values to me that I learned when I was younger, but seemed to have forgotten them due to my lack of practicing them. In the short time that I have been here, the Hālau has shaped me into a new person. A person that I like now, and will use when I go on to UH Mānoa and even my career in the future.”
Bowe Souza, 2011, UHM, Music

“Being a student in the Hawaiian Language program, a member of the Ke Ala ‘Ike program and being involved in helped me to learn and become more acutely involved in my Hawaiian culture. The environment in the Hālau is friendly, and everyone there has played an integral part in enriching my knowledge of the Hawaiian culture.”
Pilikahakuimipono Crawford, 2011, UHM Biology

“With the help of the Hawaiian department and the Hālau, I was able to get everything I needed done as well as being able to pursue different opportunities that other students wouldn’t usually be able to do.”
Kaimana Namihira, 2011, UHM Hawaiian Studies

“Being a part of the Hālau has been a life changing experience. My advice to future haumāna is to always ask for help as it is always available. The Hālau is a place of safety that always welcomes new students as long as learning and perpetuation of Hawaiian culture is being achieved.”
Naomi Grace, 2010, UHWO Business Administration

“Pursue what is felt deep inside, no matter how hard the journey, Mai makaʻu a mai molowa! E holomua me wiwoʻole!”
Keola Kalani, 2010, UHM Hawaiian Studies

“My advice would be to get involved as well as take advantage of all services the Hālau provides. By doing this they become immerse in the culture & find opportunities to give back to those who have helped to bring them to this point.”
Puanaunaka Williams, 2010, UHM, Political Science