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Family in front of the Student Parents At Manoa sign

The Student Parents At Mānoa (SP@M) program that assists a growing college demographic that is often overlooked—students who are raising children—has been named the 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Parent Program by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa program is being nationally recognized by NASPA, which has 15,000 members, because it, “exemplifies how to support a growing student population that often requires a unique type of assistance.” Nationally, more than 20% of all students are parents themselves, and 70% of those students are mothers who find they are often invisible and overlooked on campuses. SP@M helps build a community of supporting students who are “pursuing education while parenting.”

Teresa Bill, the UH Bridge to Hope coordinator, nominated SP@M. The two programs work closely together to assist adult student learners with financial need and educational support.

SP@M has grown from a website with resources to a small but effective program offering support services that provide access to resources and opportunities that build student parents’ capacity to persist and succeed at UH Mānoa,” stated Bill in the official nomination. “Additionally, the 2-generation impact of a parent in college means the student parent as well as their children are focused on college success.”

Student with her son

“The numerous resources provided at UH Mānoa, including: SNAP outreach, Aloha Friday drop-in lunch, Adopt-A-Family Holiday Assistance and other efforts provides an outstanding model that other universities can learn from,” said Anita Hicks of the NASPA awards committee in the March 2 (Update) letter notifying UH about the national recognition. “The current health crisis did not slow down these incredible efforts as demonstrated by the transition to a virtual format accessible to the students.”

SP@M also contributes to the persistence of all UH Mānoa students with its campus-wide outreach and assistance applying for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

SP@M will be formally presented the NASPA 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Parent Program award at a virtual reception scheduled for March 23, 2021.

Learn more about SP@M on Instagram or email:

This effort is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success, one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan, updated in December 2020.

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