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Hirono Continues Support of Conservation Workforce

August 22, 2017, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated August 22, 6:51 AM
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Sen. Hirono with DLNR Chair Suzanne Case and KUPU leadership and volunteers. Photo courtesy of Sen. Hirono’s office.

Senator Mazie K. Hirono met with KUPU interns on Aug. 17 to encourage their work serving the local community through conservation efforts. KUPU is an Americorps program providing youth with service learning and education opportunities by maintaining and preserving natural resources in Hawai‘i.

“KUPU’s work to provide meaningful service opportunities for young people benefits our ‘āina and Hawai‘i’s native plants and animals,” said Sen. Hirono. “I continue to advocate for AmeriCorps funding that supports programs like KUPU that help train Hawai‘i’s workforce and provide career pathways for young conservationists.”

“For the past decade, KUPU has helped develop the next generation of Hawai’i’s environmental leaders,” John Leong, KUPU CEO. “AmeriCorps funding ensures that Hawai’i’s youth can pursue careers in conservation and sustainability, allowing them to play a vital role in protecting Hawai’i’s fragile environment. I’m honored to join with Senator Hirono and the rest of the Hawai‘i congressional delegation to support programs that help Hawai‘i’s youth discover their strengths and allows them to give back to a cause greater than themselves while pursuing career pathways to propel them forward in life.”

“We appreciate Senator Hirono’s continued commitment to supporting AmeriCorps funding that helps supports critical educational programs like KUPU,” said Suzanne D. Case, chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). “Building a bridge for Hawai‘i’s future conservation workforce, the KUPU internship program trains our youth to become environmental stewards and connects them to future job opportunities at DLNR and across the state.”

Sen. Hirono announced in June that Hawai‘i had received $4.2 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS is a federal agency for volunteering and service programs. Earlier in 2017, Sen. Hirono co-sponsored a resolution to recognize AmeriCorps members and alumni for the significant impact their efforts have made on Hawai‘iʻs lands and natural resources. The resolution was passed on March 9, 2017, during national AmeriCorps Week.

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