Month: December 2014

Forging Ahead – Investing in Education

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Non Traditional Students discover they can with ICan at Kapi’olani Community College

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For the entire story and pictures, click link below.  A brief story is below.

Graduation day for 15 students who completed the Individualized Career Achievement Network or iCAN program run by Kapiʻolani Community College in partnership with the McKinley Community School for Adults.

The free, fast track career training program attracts a wide variety of students. This group of graduates is made up of 10 women and 5 men, who range in age from 18 to 74.

iCAN graduate

Related UH News video: iCAN prepares students for college and careers,
February 5, 2012 (Read full story)

“I am from Micronesia,” said iCAN graduate Julie Johannes. “And I am a wife, mother and grandma.”

“I recently came out of jail in February and ever since then, I just been on a straight path, just trying to change my life,” said fellow iCAN graduateNathan Paoa.

iCAN’s mission is to help participants improve their lives by finding career pathways, whether that’s college or some type of workforce training.

“We realize that students don’t have the basic skills that sometimes they need to get into those career pathways or to find the jobs that they are looking for,” said Roya Dennis, the Kapiʻolani Community College iCAN coordinator.

The 135-hour program focuses on career skills like teamwork and communication along with reading, writing, math, computer skills and a broad range of support services.

The students also tour college campuses. The iCAN program is a gateway to the world of possibility—a bridge to higher education or a fulfilling career.

“I learned that I can be myself and what I want to do for my goal, I can do it,” said Johannes. “That’s iCAN program.”

McKinley Community School for Adults and Waipahu Community School for Adults are piloting the iCAN program in a partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges and Department of Education Community School for Adults.

It’s part of the Community College Career Training program funded by a $24.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

At every iCAN graduation ceremony, each student gives a presentation on their career goals and how they will accomplish those goals. A big part of iCAN is to leave with a detailed plan.

“Well right now, I’m not sure what I want to do,” said Paoa. “That’s why on my presentation I had like three different things. But I know that whatever I do choose, it’s going to be worth it.”

The iCAN program is available every spring, summer and fall.

Graduates receive a National Career Readiness Certificate and a Certificate of Professional Development. They also have an option to earn a Healthcare Foundation certificate by taking an additional 30-hour course that covers the skills needed for entry-level positions in the healthcare industry.

Just like any graduation ceremony, there are a lot of laughter, tears, hugs and one last group shot.

“Now we’re done and I just go on, I want to continue on,” said Johannes right after she graduated. “So never be scared. Just go for it.”


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Dec. 16, 2014       14-057


HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has installed three temporary particulate monitors to measure and inform nearby residents on the Big Island of Hawaii of the air quality levels from the lava flow from Kilauea volcano. Two monitors are currently located in Pahoa and one in Leilani Estates. These monitors may be relocated or additional monitors installed as the lava flow moves or additional breakouts occur. The monitoring data and advisories may be viewed at: or

The University of Hawaii, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology has also developed a model to forecast the lava flow smoke in Puna. The smoke model can be viewed at:

“Our monitoring data and smoke model will measure and predict air quality, but this information is no substitute for good judgment. People should consider for themselves how sensitive they are to smoke exposure and act accordingly, said Gary Gill, deputy director of Environmental Health. “The smoke impact at any place or time may change due to unpredictable wind and weather conditions.”

DOH recommends that residents in smoke affected areas avoid outdoor activities or physical exertion. People with respiratory illness or heart disease, older adults and children are urged to avoid smoke exposure. Smoke may worsen symptoms for individuals who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Individuals that have these conditions should keep their medication refilled and use daily (controller) medication as prescribed. Anyone who feels they may need medication or medical attention should contact their physician.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the lava flow and smoke conditions, residents and visitors are advised to listen to the Hawaii County Civil Defense updates and advisories.

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Nolan Hirai

Chief, Clean Air Branch

(808) 586-4200

4th Annual Kau Floating Lantern Celebration

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FLC Launch 2 The 4th Annual Ka’u Floating Lantern Celebration at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park’s “Medicine Pond” was enjoyed by Ka’u families including mainland and foreign visitors.

Photo courtesy of H. Grace