Kahului, HI—May 2, 2014—Over three hundred high school students and teachers made the UH Maui College campus their playground at the first annual College Preparation & Completion Recruitment Day. ‘Playgrounds’ spanned a wide range of academic and career fields, including business, information technology, engineering technology, sustainability, culinary arts, and hospitality and tourism. Students then got hands-on with breakout sessions like “Do It Yourself Electronics”, “Entrepreneurship: The Growing Pains”, and “Fresh Pasta Demonstration.”

UHMC faculty, along with local high schools and businesses, developed the collaborative project to help high school students explore college majors and careers in a fun and creative way. Another major goal was to show students how the pathways of the high school academies (e.g., Business, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism, Culinary Arts, Arts and Communication, Engineering and Information Technology) can connect to programs at the college, and careers beyond.


PHOTO 1: High school students participate in an icebreaker exercise

“This event was an important connecting point – not only did students get to explore their academic interest and possible majors, but local business leaders and experts gave them an inside look at what kinds of careers might be available after college,” said UH Maui College professor Debra Nakama. “We think a lot of bright futures were launched today, thanks to the support of our schools, the community and businesses.”

Linda Rosario, a representative from McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii, which helped sponsor the event, said, “McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii is proud to support this interactive day of learning – an innovative approach to introducing local high school students to different career tracks. We are happy to be collaborating with the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College in igniting students’ interest in preparing for their future.”


PHOTO 2: After a brief demonstration, students roll out fresh pasta they’ve made themselves

Jennifer Baum, High School Counselor at Kamehameha High School, agreed. “We were thrilled that our students had the opportunity to be a part of this college preparation and completion event at UHMC. The students’ engagement in sessions will provide numerous benefits such as helping our students discover their passions and college major.”

It was also an opportunity for current UHMC students share their experience. Hospitality and Tourism students in the Hui Ho`okipa Club helped with event coordination and UHMC student leaders facilitated and co-presented at various playground sessions.

High schools interested in 2014-2015 Fall and Spring ‘College Preparation and Completion’ dates should contact Debbie Nakama at 808-984-3614.


  • Henry Perrine Baldwin High School
  • Kamehameha High School
  • Lahainaluna High School
  • Molokai High School
  • UHMC Upward Bound
  • Gilbert and Associates
  • University of Hawaiʻi Bookstore
  • Maui High Performance Center
  • Maui Venture Consulting
  • National Academy of Finance Advisory Board
  • National Academy of Hospitality Advisory Board
  • National Academy of Information and Technology Board
  • Airforce Research Lab
  • Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
  • Piiholo Ranch Zipline