Led by Park Ranger Kūpono McDaniel, who oversees the program, FHVNP is pleased to be a major supporting partner and play an integral role in its management.
Late last year, FHVNP wrote and obtained several grants to assist in making the program happen. We were awarded a combined 57,000.00 from the Cooke Foundation, Ltd., the Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation and Kamehameha Schools ‘Āina Education Program.
The program also receives additional significant funding from Hawaii Pacific Parks Association, another partner of the Park.
The Youth Ranger Internship Program provides education and career preparation to youth in rural East Hawai‘i. Youth train with park rangers in six different divisions within the park, including Interpretation, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, Maintenance, Protection, and Administration. After training, as many as 33 successful candidates will be hired to these divisions.
The Youth Ranger Internship Program is designed to empower local students to affect change in the world and to expose them to meaningful career options. The skills they learn will make them better candidates for any career they choose to pursue,” McDaniel said.
Training started on April 4, 2013 with over 45 youth from Ka‘ū, Pāhoa, and Kea‘au high schools and Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Science.
Graduation from training was held on May 9 and 10 at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus. “We are grateful to so many organizations that participated in this celebratory event. Volcano Art Center, Nui Pohaku Adventure Tours, KTA, Target and Safeway – we thank you” Elizabeth Fien, Education & Outreach Coordinator stated.
We look forward to working with the interns this summer, and encourage you to visit the park and meet these outstanding youth.