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Alaka‘ina Foundation: Develop, Build, Grow

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Alaka‘ina Foundation: Develop, Build, Grow

Alaka‘ina Foundation: Develop, Build, Grow

Alaka‘ina in Hawaiian means “leadership” and our mission at the Alaka‘ina Foundation is to build and promote leadership and education initiatives for “na pua o Hawai‘i,” or the youth of Hawai‘i.

Our goal is to develop a new generation of leaders, especially among those who live in rural areas, who have the aptitude, attitude and vision to lead our communities and our nation in the future. Our programs include:

Innovative educational projects, such as the Digital Bus, that blend science, technology, and environmental stewardship.

Teacher enrichment initiatives

Scholarships and internships

Support for community programs and organizations

One of the symbols we use to represent the Alaka‘ina Foundation is the kukui tree. The state tree of Hawai‘i, the kukui is a symbol of enlightenment and protection. It provided the ancient Hawaiians with many essentials, among them light, fuel, medicine, and dye. The candlenut from the kukui tree helped support our ancestors as they worked to build a better future. Today, the Alaka‘ina Foundation is helping the youth of Hawai‘i grow and flourish. You can see the fruit of our efforts in the real-life photos from the Digital Bus project that we’ve used throughout this Website.

The Alaka`ina Foundation is a non-profit Native Hawaiian Organization that was incorporated in March 2004.


2005 – Started the Digital Bus Program on Maui

2010 – Extended the program to Moloka‘i

Programs provided at no cost to the schools, teachers, or students


Since inception over 38,000 students have participated in the program

Encourage science and technology education to students in underrepresented populations in grades K-12

Offers state-of-the-art mobile learning platform

Place-based science projects designed to meet the Department of Education Hawai‘i Content and Performance Standards (HCPS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)


In 2019 the Alaka‘ina Foundation established a 5-year, $500,000 non-endowed vocational and technical trades scholarship

Scholarships support predominantly Native Hawaiian students enrolled in any of the seven community colleges of the University of Hawai‘i system

In academic year 2019-2020 this scholarship supported 95 students

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