Liko A’e Hawaiian Leadership Program Gets Big Grant From US Dept. of Ed.


Since 2003, the Liko A‘e Native Hawaiian Leadership Program has provided students of Hawaiian ancestry at UH Maui College (and before that Maui Community College) access to positive mentors and role models. Over that decade, more than 2,000 students (not all of which were UHMC students)* have in some way received benefits from the program.

“We look to our past, projecting the images of our leaders into the present, as we seek to provide guidance for our scholars and their communities,” states the program’s website ( “The Program invites student scholars to join us, step forth and gain knowledge along the path of our ancestors. Through seeing, hearing, touching, caring, listening, thinking, learning and reasoning, our scholars develop the essential qualities of a mature individual who can become a true asset to the Hawaiian community.”

For the second year in a row, the program has received $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education Title VII Elementary and Secondary Education Act funds.

“This second-year funding for our Leadership Program allows us to provide scholarships and wrap-around support services to Native Hawaiians students with a greater focus on serving those from rural and under-represented areas and non-traditional students,” said Malia Davidson, the program director, in a Sept. 26 press release.

According to the press release, undergrads participating in the program must also do some sort of community “leadership service.” This can include providing tutoring and mentoring sessions and helping high school students trying to finish their GED. Grad students in the program “act as team leaders for their undergraduate colleagues, and also will share their academic research through public and digital speaker events on various campuses,” stated the press release.

*This caveat was originally left out of the story.

Photo: Travis Thurston/Wikimedia Commons