East Hawaii News

Governor Extends Honorary Kupono Diploma Program

June 19, 2015, 6:05 PM HST
* Updated June 19, 6:10 PM
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During World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietman War, many high school students were unable to complete their educations because of law-required service in the United States military. Senate Bill 181 (Act 124), signed by Governor David Ige, will continue efforts to change that.

The Honorary Kupono Diploma program, established in 2007 by the Hawai’i State Department of Education, will expire on June 30, but Act 124 will continue the program.

An additional five years has been added to the Act, which will establish a program within the HIDOE that grants diplomas to veterans of the armed forces. It will also give recognition to Japanese–Americans who were unable to complete high school because they were relocated to internment camps during World War II.

A total of 26 diplomas have been awarded by the HIDOE since 2008. Of the 26 awarded, 25 have gone to military veterans. Two of the veterans participated in high school graduation ceremonies.

Sarah Yomogi Sato was the first recognized internment honoree. She was unable to complete her education at McKinley High School when her family was transferred to an internment camp in Arkansas in 1942.

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