Developing Hawaii’s youth with Kupu Hawaii

Sponsored by Texaco in Hawaii

A huge part of Texaco in Hawaiʻi’s carbon-offset program, Ho‘āla, is to support local non-profit eco-initiatives. One initiative Ho‘āla is proud to partner with is Kupu, a statewide organization empowering local youth.

Kupu means to sprout or to grow, and that is exactly what they are doing by helping Hawaii’s young adults in their education and job career development. Last year, Kupu worked together with local farms to provide over 100,000 healthy meals to communities in need. They also used the CARES money and worked with the state to help displaced workers from the hospitality industry find work in conservation, agriculture, and other green jobs.

Kepa Barrett, a former Kupu student, says that the program changed his life forever. Kepa started his journey with Kupu in 2011 when his English teacher presented him with the opportunity to participate in the program. “It just gave me, at the time, so much to be able to work with, and I had a chance to reflect on it,” he says. Eventually, Kepa would make his way back to Kupu for two more programs before jumping on board as a full-time employee. He was just recently promoted to External Affairs Officer, where he says he’s excited to get to advocate for the same programs he was a part of.

Kupu is proud to say they gotten permission from the state to safely reopen their events venue. The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Ho’okupu Center is a state-of-the-art facility that is solar powered. “It’s a really amazing space that’s bringing restoration to the lives of the young people who get to come here, as well as to the community that uses this space,” says John Leong, CEO of Kupu. If you are interested in the program or planning your next event, please visit or their Facebook and Instagram @kupuhawaii for more information.

To learn more about Texaco in Hawai‘i or the Ho`āla program, be sure to follow Texaco in Hawai‘i on Facebook and Instagram @texacoinhawaii or visit and


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