Students taking HSER. 110: Introduction to Human Services as part of the Running Start/Middle College (RS/MC) Program located at the Kea`au Youth Business Center came on a campus visitation on November 4, 2012.
They were welcomed by Chancellor Noreen Yamane at the Kaneikeao meeting room and told to explore different options in college. They then went on a tour of the Culinary Arts program and facilities, which was facilitated by a second year Culinary Arts major. They were introduced to faculty member Sandy Barr Rivera who explained program requirements. They then returned to Kaneikeao to layout the design for a display about the Middle College program, which has been successfully running as a bridge from high school to higher education, workforce and community engagement for seven years. This semester’s cohort of students are from Connections Public Charter School, Kua O Ka La Public Charter School and Pahoa High School.
Students have the opportunity not only to earn college credit while in high school, but to participate in special cultural exchange opportunities and career and lifestyle exploration through the resources and net working of Kea`au Youth Business Center. This semester the students were able to meet a family of Q’ero Indians who live above the 14,000 feet elevation in the Andes mountains of Peru. The family shared their native costume, music and culture with the students. There are only 2,000 Q’eros left in the world who pre-date the Incas. They also were exposed to speaker Pi Villaraza, a young man from the Phillippines who owned businesses in advertising and events management, was a business consultant to major corporations and was the general manager of the travel giant STA Travel in the Philippines. In 2002, he left everything to undergo a seven-year world journey in which he discovered a healing process called the Inner Dance which he teaches today.
Please visit the glass display case fronting the Kaneikeao classroom which presents the achievements and experiences of past and current Middle College students. Middle College participants have entered HawCC as Administration of Justice, Auto Body Repair and Painting, Business, Culinary Arts, Digital Media Arts, Diesel, Liberal Arts, and Nursing majors.