Harold K.L. Castle Foundation awarded 2018 GEAR UP Community Partner of the Year Award

University of Hawaiʻi
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Posted: Jul 17, 2018

Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Strategic Advisor Alex Harris accepting the GEAR UP award
Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Strategic Advisor Alex Harris accepting the GEAR UP award
Jarrett, Washington, Central, Waipahu, Dole & Kalākaua middle school students (see full caption)
Jarrett, Washington, Central, Waipahu, Dole & Kalākaua middle school students (see full caption)

The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation was honored as GEAR UP Community Partner of the Year at the seventh annual GEAR UP Leadership Awards in Washington, D.C. Nominated by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) awarded the Castle Foundation for its outstanding support and commitment to numerous initiatives that prepare Hawai‘i’s low-income students for college and career success.

“The Castle Foundation has been an invaluable partner in raising student achievement and moving Hawai‘i closer to our 55 by ’25 education goal,” says Stephen Schatz, executive director of Hawai‘i P-20. “Hawai‘i P-20 is incredibly thankful for the collaboration with our GEAR UP Hawai‘i program to improve access for thousands of students statewide. They are very deserving of this year’s NCCEP award.”

Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education is a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i System.

More than 14,000 students statewide in grades 7 through first year in college are provided information, support, resources and services through GEAR UP Hawai‘i, a statewide college access grant under Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education. The grant is designed to reduce gaps among student populations who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

“At no time in our state’s history has it been more important for our youth to attain a postsecondary degree or credential,” says Alex Harris, strategic advisor, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation. “Doing so opens doors and increases opportunities. We are honored to partner with Hawai‘i P-20 to extend the benefits of the federal GEAR UP grant to Hawai‘i’s students. This award reflects the success of hard work by countless teachers, administrators and students.”

The Castle Foundation supports high school graduation and college access initiatives by investing in a diverse range of programs that successfully reach thousands of students across the state’s K-12 and postsecondary education pipeline. Over the years, its support of public education initiatives has been highly impactful.

The foundation’s investment in Hawai‘i P-20’s Early College High School (ECHS) program helped mobilize the Early College movement, which enables students to earn both college and high school credit simultaneously. In addition, the Castle Foundation supported GEAR UP Hawai‘i’s efforts to make college more affordable by supporting the “Cash for College Challenge” to activate low-income schools to encourage more students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most recently, recognizing that access to strong counseling and advising in high school can be pivotal for low-income students’ success, the Castle Foundation is supporting an innovative College and Career Guidance program to create a pipeline of assistance for students from middle school through college.

These tremendous efforts have contributed to a growing number of working age adults in Hawai‘i who hold a 2-or 4-year college degree. The Castle Foundation has played a key role in expanding college access for students and families and serves as an outstanding partner and advocate for Hawai‘i’s students.   


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Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i System, works to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve college and career success.  Hawai‘i P-20’s partners share a sense of urgency about the need to improve Hawai‘i’s educational outcomes in an increasingly global economy, and have established a goal of 55 percent of Hawai‘i’s working age adults having a two- or four-year college degree by 2025. For more information, visit http://www.p20hawaii.org.

GEAR UP Hawai‘i is a program under Hawai‘i P-20 funded by the U.S. Department of Education and part of a larger membership nationwide. NCCEP serves as the membership association for GEAR UP programs nationally and builds the capacity of communities so that underserved students have the opportunity, skills and knowledge to successfully pursue education beyond high school. www.edpartnerships.org.

 

Full photo captions:

Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Strategic Advisor Alex Harris, left, was presented the GEAR UP Community Partner of the Year award by Ranjit Sidhu, president and CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships.

Middle school students from Jarrett, Washington, Central, Waipahu, Dole and Kalākaua participate in GENE-ius Day STEM Summer Program, funded by GEAR UP Hawai‘i, at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.