Go to homepage

Project Mohala

A place-based approach to provide access to university-level education for Hawaiʻi Island youth


E mālama ʻia nā pono o ka ʻāina e nā ʻōpio

The traditions of the land are perpetuated through its youth

Residential Summer Bridge Program

In-residence experience at the UH Hilo dormitories

Connecting to UH Hilo

Prepare youth for entry into UH Hilo

Place-based Connections

Connections that reflect upon each community of Hawaiʻi Island

Peer Mentors

College mentors majoring in History, Hawaiian Language, Hawaiian Lifestyles, and Education


Experience + Reflection = Relevant Learning

Project Description

I mohala nō ka lehua i ke keʻekeʻehi ʻia e ka ua

Lehua blossoms unfold because of the rains that tread upon them

Project Mohala will support enhanced relationships and experiences between Hawaiʻi Island youth and community members, organizations and educational institutions; increasing access to higher education, and community integration.

Project Deliverables

  • Empower youth through place-based curricula, connections to place, service learning, and sense of identity; Nā Hōpena Aʻo (HĀ)
  • Prepare youth for entry into univesity-level education in their future
  • Engage community relationships for education, career, and community
  • Heal inter/transgenerational trauma that has been ingrained in our communities
  • Earn UH Hilo credits



A summer bridge learning community with set curriculum of prescribed courses over a 5-week, in-residence session. Liliʻuokalani Trust and University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo intends on creating thriving communities for our youth and future generations.



What grade level do I need to be to be accepted into Project Mohala?

Youth who are currently in the 9th - 12th grades are open to apply.

What if I play a sport or have prior commitments?

Attendance is mandatory, youth who have prior commitments are welcomed to communicate with the Project Mohala team as situations are decided on a case by case basis.

What UH Hilo courses will I be taking? Can I choose courses?

Courses for Project Mohala are taken as a cohort and are prescribed to achieve the Project Mohala mission and objectives. Participants are not able to choose courses.

Are participants of Project Mohala able to cruise the UH Hilo campus during free time?

Project Mohala participants will have Peer Mentors and/or a Project Mohala team member with them at all times. Cruising and sneaking out without a Peer Mentor or a Project Mohala team member will be considered an offense and further participation will be put in jeopardy.

What happens if I fail a course from Project Mohala?

Levels of intervention are in place to avoid failure of a UH Hilo course. Consequences of failing a college course could prevent acceptance into college after graduation as well as financial aid eligibility.


Contact ydhawaiiisland@onipaa.org to get more information on the project