The Waianae Youth Initiative illustrates the need to, "reach down and pull up." To get more Leeward Area students to go into the health professions, a concerted effort must be made to expose the opportunities to them.
CollegeNOW is an intensive four-week summer externship program for transitioning (high school seniors/new graduates) Leeward Coast youth to gain valuable firsthand experience going 'island wide' to visit 8-10 College campus sites, cultural fieldtrips and leadership training. Participants learn how to apply for scholarships, write personal statements, techniques and templates to request dynamic recommendation letters, how to generate an attention-grabbing resume and cover letter to include in their personal portfolio for interviews, as well as life skills such as how to set up a bank account, choosing a positive mentor, time management, conflict resolution, and how to translate their volunteer hours/explorations into a legitimate career pathway.
Youth Health Corps, a high school leadership and health careers exploration program in partnership with Waianae High School, is designed to increase awareness of health issues, involve participants in community education, provide them with support to access higher learning opportunities, and introduce them to careers in health care. Participating teens are mentored by ATSU-SOMA medical students and other healthcare professionals as they explore the numerous career options health care has to offer. The program includes health careers shadowing opportunities in various clinics and departments. The program's mission is to increase opportunities for high school students on the Leeward Coast to explore health careers in their own community and to mentor and motivate students towards success.