College prep program
seeks Hawaiians

College Connections Hawaii is seeking applications for a new five-year program that will prepare 500 native Hawaiian students for a successful college career.

The nonprofit group's Native Hawaiian Scholars Program will provide free college-prep counseling for public high school students in the graduating classes of 2006 through 2010.

The program was designed to address data showing that native Hawaiians are among the students least likely to attend and succeed in college, said Wren Wescoatt, executive director of College Connections Hawaii.

Applicants must be at least part-Hawaiian, attend a Hawaii public school and commit to the program for five years.

The program is funded by donations from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Lumina Foundation and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. So far, $500,000 has been raised, enough to fund the first three years, Wescoatt said.

Findings from the program will be shared with the state Department of Education, the University of Hawaii system, Kamehameha Schools and others, Wescoatt said.

Applications will be accepted until all 500 students are found. An application form can be downloaded from www.collegeconnections.org/789.html.

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