Introducing the Mahi‘ai Scholarship Award

Introducing the Mahi‘ai Scholarship Award

The Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture is excited to announce the Mahi‘ai Scholarship Award being offered to North Kohala and Kanu O Ka Aina high school students. The award will also be given to North Kohala High School sports teams for their laulima (many hands / cooperation) in their school garden. HIP Ag will be giving a total of $5,000 away to high school students and sports teams during the 2017-18 school year. All awards will be distributed during the last month of school, May 2018.

The word mahi‘ai traditionally means a “planter” and “someone who is responsible for cultivation of soil and growing of food.” Mahi‘ai understood seasons, soil, water, and weather. They also knew about planting and raising of various crops. Mahi‘ai were rooted to the ‘āina, just as plants were rooted to the earth. Mahi‘ai thought of the plants as their kuleana. The award stems from the need and desire to grow farmers and food in our local community which coincides with goals from Kohala’s Community Development Plan of producing 50% of locally grown food by 2018. By offering this award we hope to inspire and engage high school students on the land, encouraging them to step forward and take initiative through caring for the ‘āina. We hope the award will stimulate young adults passion for growing food and working with plants. Ultimately our goal is to grow our local school’s gardens and promote interest in career fields in agriculture.

The HIP Ag Mahi‘ai Scholarship Award will be given upon most (hours logged) and best (quality of effort) levels of participation in each of the school’s garden plots. High schoolers will be encouraged to put in thoughtful efforts to growing and caring for their garden. School gardens allow students the opportunity to learn about the process of getting fresh produce from the garden to their plate and the important role agriculture plays in their everyday lives.


Kohala High School 1st: $1,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250 KHS Sports Teams 1st: $1,000 2nd: $500 Kanu O Ka Aina High School: 1st: $1,000 2nd: $500 3rd: $250

How to get involved:

Are you a high school student at KHS or Kanu?

High school students are encouraged to participate in agriculture classes at school to log participation hours. Additionally students can find out from garden coordinators when they can get involved during study periods or after school.

KHS: Payton- 808-209-0842
Kanu: Kiteya- 808-937-7024

Are a coach or participant of a KHS sports team?

Please contact for more information on how to get involved and how to schedule a laulima for your school’s garden. For any further questions, please call HIP Ag’s Program Manager Lauren at: 808-333-8664

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