Skip to content
Reading time: 2 minutes
People putting debris into a bucket
Students conduct a service-oriented activity collecting marine debris

A new student-led peer mentoring program for Hawaiʻi Island highschoolers is taking shape at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. The Ka Pouhana Mentoring Program pairs UH Hilo student mentors with faculty members to give individualized support to first-year college students. The student mentors presented the program’s objectives at the annual Schools of the Future Conference in October in an effort to showcase how schools statewide can better serve keiki.

People sitting at tables in front a screen
UH Hilo students present objectives of the new Ka Pouhana Peer Mentoring Program at the Schools of the Future Conference on Oʻahu

“The students were able to share both survey results and their personal experience building mentorship relationships with first-year students,” said Helen Tien, a management instructor and academic advisor at UH Hilo’s business college. “Conference attendees included administrators and teachers from every island and almost every elementary, middle and high school in the state.”

The aim of the Ka Pouhana program, which is based at the UH Hilo Center for Place-Based Socioemotional Development, is to tighten the bonds between mentors and first-year university students in order to increase communication, coordination and understanding meant to boost recruitment and retention at the university level.

UH Hilo students serving as peer mentors include Catherine Corella, Ayzlynne-Kalia Fishman-DeVera, Trevondrick Francis, Mahina Hanakeawe, Tuʻupuamalamakahonua Helekahi, Tiffani Napihaa, Kit Neikirk, Mekaila Pasco, Elena-Marie Waianuhe and Tiffani Napihaa.

The Ka Pouhana program is led by Margary Martin, an associate professor at UH Hilo’s School of Education and executive director of the UH Hilo Center for Place-Based Socioemotional Development. Along with Tien, who is an affiliate faculty at the center, faculty mentors this fall include Instructor Colby MacNaughton (Education), Professor Celia Bardwell-Jones (Philosophy), Instructor Jenni Guillen (Biology), Associate Professor John Burns (Marine Science), Associate Professor Michael Peterson (Computer Science) and Associate Professor Misty Pacheco (Kinesiology and Exercise Science).

The Ka Pouhana Mentoring Program is funded by Oak Foundation Fund at the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation.

For more go to UH Hilo Stories.

Back To Top