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People attending the event.
The Dive Into Education event was held on November 3 at UH West Oʻahu.

In a bid to nurture the next generation of educators and tackle the teacher shortage in Hawaiʻi, Pearl City High School seniors, Hailey Rodgers and Arisa Yazaki, orchestrated the “Dive Into Education” event, hosted at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu on November 3.

“We wanted to organize this event because it is important to have homegrown teachers,” Rodgers said. “I just wanted them to stay here in Hawaiʻi and become teachers and have their careers here inHawaiʻi.”

The first-ever event was supported in part by a grant from the Hawaiʻi Education Association. UH West Oʻahu and its Hoʻopūliko Kumu Hou program, a Title III grant that supports the middle/secondary education pathway project, provided financial support to host the event on the campus.

Dive Into Education featured a keynote address with advice from a veteran teacher, a panel discussion and Q&A with current education students from different colleges and universities, and a college fair with information about college and university teaching programs in the islands.

Panelists at the event
UH West Oʻahu panelists: Raymart Billote (w/mic), Joshua Kamalani (3rd from right), and Makayla Rogers-Tivao (right).

The panelists included three representatives from UH West OʻahuHoʻopūliko Kumu Hou program participants and secondary education majors—Raymart Billote, Joshua Kamalani, and Makayla Rogers-Tivao.

“I was blessed to have really good teachers … great role models,” said Rogers-Tivao a current student teacher at James Campbell High School. “Just being able to help kids out is one of the most important things that I find about teaching.”

The students who attended Dive Into Education were from Campbell, Farrington, Kapolei, Leilehua, Nānākuli, Pearl City and Waipahu high schools. The colleges and universities represented at the college fair included Leeward Community College, UH Hilo—Kahuawaiola program, UH Mānoa, and the host UH West Oʻahu.

“An event like this, at this scale, really reflects how interested students are in becoming teachers,” said Hoʻopūliko Kumu Hou instructional student support specialist Leiʻala Okuda. “When we see presence like this and the effort that’s being put into an event like this, it really shows how passionate this community is wanting to grow teachers, especially our own teachers.”

Read more at Ka Puna o Kaloʻi.

—by Zenaida Serrano Arvman

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