The Hawai‘i Youth Sustainability Challenge, which is a partnership between Kupu and Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, is an initiative to empower youth from across the state of Hawai‘i to create solutions to conservation and sustainability challenges in their schools and communities. Selected students must be in grades 9-12 and will receive funding, mentorship, and training to support their innovative environmental solutions.

We asked program manager Elia Herman who the community partnership and mentoring work.

“We asked organizations throughout the state to identify the top problems they confront that would benefit from creative solutions developed by students. Community partners have put together short videos sharing the challenges they need help with, ranging from urban forestry to renewable energy to invasive species removal and native planting, from community engagement and communication strategies to tech development and sustainable product design. So now when they apply, students can either put forward a solution to a problem they have identified or pick one of the challenges put forward by our community partners. “

Applications are now open and the deadline is October 8. Students in grades 9-12 on all islands can apply with a teacher or advisor’s help.