Kūkulu Alaka‘i ‘Iolani (KA‘I)

Kūkulu Alaka‘i ‘Iolani (KA‘I)

The mission of Kūkulu Alaka‘i ‘Iolani ("The Creation of Leaders") is to provide economically-disadvantaged students with educational tools, real world skills, and opportunities to discover personal passions, while striving to reach their highest potential.

The KA‘I program is a partnership between ‘Iolani School and Jarrett Middle School. Each year, a group of 12 rising seventh grade students from Jarrett come to ‘Iolani school for a dynamic six-week summer program that includes educational enrichment, leadership, team building and service to the community.

Kūkulu Alaka‘i ‘Iolani places an emphasis specifically on long-term achievement and relationships in order to maximize student potential. Once accepted to the KA‘I program, each student will return to the program for six summers until graduating from high school. Students build lasting relationships with other KAI participants, ‘Iolani student mentors, and teachers that extend well-beyond the classroom to provide an invaluable support system that allows them to become their "best" selves.

KA‘I program fosters a culture of achievement that pushes students to:

  • Become leaders within their school community
  • Contribute towards the benefit of their local community
  • Graduate from high school
  • Pursue pathways of success and higher education in an area of personal passion
The KAI program is independently funded through educational grants and the generous support of our donors.

"Research conducted by Johns Hopkins sociology professor Karl Alexander and his colleagues shows that low-income youth suffer significantly from a loss of academic skills over the summertime. The losses pile up, contributing to an achievement gap that can make the difference between whether students set out on a path for college or decide to drop out of high school. Two-thirds of the 9th grade achievement gap between disadvantaged youth and their more advantaged peers can be explained by what happens over the summer during the elementary school years. Across the country, high quality summer programs have been shown to stem the achievement gap, resulting in highly improved high school graduation and college matriculation rates for participants."

-- Dr. Timothy R. Cottrell, Head of School




Kūkulu Alaka‘i ‘Iolani would like to recognize and extend a heartfelt mahalo to it's amazing program sponsors:
  • The McInerny Foundation
  • Bill Reeves and Debbie Berger
  • Bank of Hawaii Foundation
  • Nan Inc.
  • Sodexo
  • Roberts Hawaii
  • Honuapo
  • Jarrett Middle School
  • The Good Samaritan Episcopal Church

If you would like to support Kūkulu Alaka‘i ‘Iolani, please contact:

Allison IshiiKūkulu Alaka‘i ‘Iolani Director
aishii [at] iolani.org
(808) 943-2349