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Hawai‘i Community College - Pālamanui Message: Me Ka Mahalo Piha (With a Fullness of Gratitude)

Posted in Chamber News

rachel solemsaas hcc1

Me ka mahalo piha (with a fullness of gratitude)

During the Holiday Season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. Without you, we couldn’t help students pursue their dreams. Every day we count our blessings with the abundance of support from our island.

One recent example is the partnership with Blue Zones Hawai‘i on “Mālama Hawai‘i CC – Pālamanui Garden and Service Day.” On October 28, over 50 community volunteers came to the Pālamanui campus to help plant an herb garden for the Culinary Arts program, create a composting area, plant fruit trees, pull invasive species and more. This event was in honor of National Make a Difference Day and National Food Day, and is in alignment with Blue Zones Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i CC’s missions to create healthy communities. Having the community engage with the campus like this is so important.

Mahalo nui to Kirstin Kahaloa and her Blue Zones team and to our UH Foundation ambassador Sue Aronson for their vision and leadership.

Mahalo to our community's landscape industry leadership, including Dean Maruyama and team of Turf Hawai‘i; Ken Sugai, Garrett Webb and Chris McCullough of the Hawai'i Island Landscape Association; Kelly Greenwell and staff of Hawaiian Gardens nursery; and Preston Crowl of Gold Coast Landscape Services. The expertise and equipment they brought us made it possible to leverage our volunteer corps to the maximum.

And mahalo to Chef Paul Heerlein and students in the culinary program for providing a healthy meal and to Hawai‘i CC – Pālamanui Hawaiian Studies professor Kalani Flores for leading us in protocol to plant the indigenous ulu, which will provide shade around the campus piko.

Speaking of the Culinary Arts program, there’s a terrific upcoming event on December 2: the “29th Annual Christmas with the Chefs.” Proceeds benefit our Culinary Arts students at Palamanui. Mahalo to ACF Kona-Kohala Chefs Association for their continued support.

Hawai‘i CC hosted lawmakers from the Senate Higher Education Committee, the House Finance Committee and members of the Hawai‘i Island delegation this fall. I sincerely appreciate their interest in our campus and the opportunity to highlight how we are fulfilling our mandate and the needs facing the college. We are grateful for their leadership and support and are comforted to know that they have our back as we continue to achieve the Hawai'i promise of success for our students.

A Hawai‘i CC student won a year’s tuition on October 30 through the Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition (HIPlan). Kainen Kahiwahiwa Bohol submitted a plan to use scrap materials from the campus’ welding shop to make Lava Forge Metalcraft. Mahalo to HIPlan Organizing Committee Co-Chairs Jim Wyban and Kelly Moran and other committee members for including Hawai‘i CC this year and adding the student category. Mahalo also to Sam Choy for being the featured guest at HIPlan’s West Hawai‘i kick-off at the Pālamanui campus.

Konawaena National Honor Society students and other volunteers recently joined humanities lecturer Richard Stevens on November 18 to save lama trees and build the Pālamanui Nature Trail at the campus. (Full story here). Mahalo for your contributions to this project.

These are recent examples of community support for Hawai‘i CC, and there have been many more during the past year. Mahalo nui loa to everyone who partners with us in the interest of student success and a thriving community.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas

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