East Hawaii News

Hawaii Volcanoes Completes Youth Ranger Internship Training

May 10, 2013, 10:57 AM HST
* Updated May 10, 10:59 AM
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Graduation ceremonies were being held Thursday and today for nearly 50 East Hawaii high school students following the completion of training for the summer internship program at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The weekly two-hour training sessions were held at various high schools as the candidates learned teamwork and other skills needed for the eight-week internships that begin in June.

The schools participating are Ka`u, Pahoa and Keaau high schools, and Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The program provides education and career preparation for the youths who will spend the summer with six different divisions within the park including Interpretation, Cultural Resources, Maintenance, Protection and Administration.

“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,” said park Ranger Kupono McDaniel, who oversees the program. “The skills they learn will make them better candidates for any career they choose to pursue.”

The program, now in its fourth year, is managed by the park’s non-profit partner, Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, with the assistance of grants from the Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation, Kamehameha Schools ‘Āina Education Program, the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association and the Cooke Foundation, Ltd.

Donations for the graduation ceremonies were provided by KTA Superstores, Target, Nui Pohaku, Safeway and the Volcano Art Center, where the ceremonies are being held.

“We are so grateful to our community for embracing this life-changing program,” McDaniel said. “Over $90,000 has been donated to give these great kids a chance to make a real contribution to caring for their park.”

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