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2017-18 Hawaii Youth Sustainability Challenge

October 31, 2017


Kupu, Hawai‘i’s leading conservation and youth education organization, and Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation are pleased to announce the second annual Hawai‘i Youth Sustainability Challenge (HYSC) mini-grant program opportunity.  Students and educators in grades six through twelve (6-12) at public, private and charter schools statewide can apply for funding to support innovative and grassroots environmental initiatives that will create new and sustainable solutions for their schools and communities.

WHAT:  HYSC mini-grants provide students with the opportunity to plan, design, prototype, and test their own small scale innovative and creative sustainability ideas and projects for their schools and communities. This year, $20,000 in funding is available for individual project grants from $150 to $1,000 each, based on the project scope and needs.  Proposals must be presented through one of the following three structures:

  • Individually-Powered Projects – One student and one teacher advisor
  • Group-Powered Projects – Multiple students and one teacher advisor
  • School Collaboration-Powered Projects – Two or more schools collaborating on projects and one teacher advisor

WHO:  Students (grades 6-12), together with a teacher advisor, may propose project ideas based on their environmental passions and motivation, interests in conservation education and desire to create sustainable, localized change.

WHEN:  The deadline to apply is December 15, 2017.  Selections will be announced in early January and funding will be distributed at the end of January through early February. Projects are required to be implemented by the end of the school year with final reports submitted by May 18, 2018. Select students will also have the opportunity to present their final projects over the summer.

HOW TO APPLY:  HYSC mini-grant applications will available online at the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation website portal, starting November 2, 2017. Application deadline is 11:59pm on December 15, 2017.

BACKGROUND:  Last year, Kupu and Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation awarded funds to support 27 projects statewide, which included composting and rainwater catchment systems, children’s books and educational displays. 

The HYSC program is funded by Harold K. L. Castle Foundation and Kamehameha Schools, with the support of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. It is a legacy initiative of the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress held in Hawai‘i. The concept for the HYSC initiative was first announced by First Lady Mrs. Dawn Amano-Ige at the conference. The goal of the initiative is to inspire youth to be intentionally engaged in the environment through action, advocacy and education.