Maui News

Hirono: Nonprofits Receive Over $4 Million

April 27, 2019, 8:45 PM HST
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Sen. Mazie K. Hirono recently announced that three Hawaiʻi organizations received over $4.76 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service and other service programs. This funding will go to Kupu, Teach for America Hawaiʻi, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi.

According to Sen. Hirono, this funding is a valuable investment in Hawaiʻiʻs future because it will support educational opportunities, increase environmental stewardship, and help low-income families receive access to key legal resources.

“AmeriCorps members are an integral part of our communities – they provide critical support and help build the capacity of nonprofits, our schools, and the individuals they serve,” Hirono said.

John Leong, the CEO of Kupu, said the funding will help the organization assist over 100 partners in critical cultural, environmental, and resource management work. This work, Leong mentioned, allows them to elevate young adults by providing them with transferable work skills and pathways into employment and education.

“It is a humbling honor to have been selected by the Corporation for National Community Service as a recipient of such a meaningful award,” Leong said. “AmeriCorps empowers Kupu to further engage young adults in service around conservation and sustainability throughout our state.”


Approximately $2.36 million of the funding will be distributed to local nonprofits, while $1.7 million will provide educational scholarships for AmeriCorps members. The Hawaiʻi Commission on National and Community Service, a Governor-appointed state service commission, will also receive $705,000 to distribute to Hawaiʻi organizations that will support an additional 390 AmeriCorps members in the coming months.


Below is a list of Hawaiʻi’s 2019 AmeriCorps competitive grant recipients:

  • Kupu: Under its Environmental Stewardship program, AmeriCorps members will remove invasive species, establish native vegetation, and remediate streams and trails at 90 service sites managed by federal, state, and community-based nonprofit partner conservation agencies on the islands of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island.
  • Teach for America Hawaiʻi: AmeriCorps members will be responsible for teaching for two years in low-income and disadvantaged schools in Hawaiʻi, specifically on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island.
  • Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi: AmeriCorps members will help low-income residents of Hawaiʻi navigate the justice system by connecting them with the legal information and resources they need to work through their civil legal matters. AmeriCorps members will serve in Legal Aid offices throughout the state, as well as in courthouse based self-help centers.

These grants will leverage an estimated additional $3.6 million from the private sector, foundations, and other sources, further increasing the return on this federal investment. The 2019 competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, gubernatorial and mayoral initiatives, veterans and military families, disaster services, and initiatives to build safer communities.

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