More than 130 students from seven public high schools interested in teaching and other public education careers gathered Friday at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu for the first-ever Dive Into Education event.
Friday’s event, supported by a grant from the Hawaiʻi Education Association, was the first of its kind organized by students aimed at motivating their peers to become educators, and help to address Hawaiʻi’s teacher shortage.
The event offered advice from a veteran teacher and current education college students, along with information about college and university teaching programs in the islands.
Seniors, Hailey Rodgers and Arisa Yazaki are enrolled in the Teaching as a Profession program at Pearl City High School, and they planned the gathering as their capstone senior project.
“We wanted to organize this event because it is important to have homegrown teachers,” said Rodgers. “I just wanted them to stay here in Hawaiʻi and become teachers and have their careers here in Hawaiʻi,” she added.
Yazaki said, “This is important because there is a teacher shortage here in Hawaiʻi and all around the state. Bringing awareness to that is very important and having all these students here is preparing them for the future, and once they get into the classroom, we will have more teachers who are prepared to guide students to the right path.”
Their Teaching as a Profession teacher at Pearl City High, Tammy Yoon, said, “We are excited about this opportunity for aspiring educators to network and connect. It’s a way to exchange new perspectives and ideas that will shape the future of education.”
Joan Lewis, president of the Hawaiʻi Education Association, one of the featured speakers at the event said, “It’s exciting to see the next generation of educators taking charge of the future. Their enthusiasm is infectious and reminds all of us, including veteran educators, to always be open to new ideas to shape our profession.”
Lisa Rollins, national director of outreach and partnerships with Educators Rising, facilitated student breakout sessions. Students from the following public high schools attended the event: Campbell, Farrington, Kapolei, Leilehua, Nānākuli, Pearl City, and Waipahu.
Colleges and universities represented at the college fair included: Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi Pacific University, Leeward Community College, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo- Kahuawaiola program, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu. UH West Oʻahu and its Hoʻopūliko Kumu Hou, a Title III grant that supports the middle secondary education pathway project, provided financial support to host the event on the campus.