Kaikaina youth programs

We saw a need

Underrepresentation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students in the technology classroom persists in part because Indigenous and other non-western cultures have been stereotypically portrayed as backward and undeveloped–the opposite of excellence in technology and innovation. This carries down into students not “seeing themselves” as potentially good at computer science and feeling like existing educational spaces for CS aren’t welcoming or affirming of their identities. 

We challenge this by running Computer Science (CS) classrooms in a culturally grounded way. This means teaching a coding class based on the algorithmic patterns of making lei. Or using the Minecraft gaming platform for haumāna to build ahupuaʻa landscapes. It is our goal to make the link between Indigenous ecological technologies and contemporary digital innovation — teaching CS in concert with culture-based and ʻāina-based education. 

As we increase access to tech education and ground students in the knowledge that their ancestors were Indigenous innovators, we broaden students’ career options and unlock their ability to use their talents and perspectives to serve their communities and lands through technology and innovation. 

ʻĪnana

Based in Hālau ʻĪnana, this program uses technology education to foster student engagement, expression, and leadership. Students explore their world through imaginative digital and tactile/embodied arts and math content and make connections with guest experts from the community. 

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Future Ancestors

Know your piko (hoʻomau), find your passion (hoʻomoʻo), and live your purpose (poʻokela). 

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Future Navigators

Navigating our communities to a sustainable future. Join us to explore the genius of our place and become stewards of wai + kai.

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Kaikaina Team

Mike Sarmiento

Mike Sarmiento

Kaikaina Kula Director
Dan Kinzer

Dan Kinzer

Future Navigators Director
Kiane Prietto

Kiane Prietto

ʻĪnana Program Director
Kahealani Lono

Kahealani Lono

Kumu
Jacqueline Kroupa

Jacqueline Kroupa

Kumu Alakaʻi
Megan Nepshinsky

Megan Nepshinsky

Kumu
Jimie Napoleon-Kanaha

Jimie Napoleon-Kanaha

Hālau Manager, Equipment Manager, and Kumu

Cerina Epple

Kumu Community Partner
Michele Kauahi

Michele Kauahi

Kumu