Inspiring Purpose

A Punahou education develops ethical values and strong moral character while growing intellect and the ability to navigate complex issues, preparing children for a lifetime of personal fulfillment, authenticity and purpose. While our students may be dramatically diverse in personality and interests, they embody the core values central to our institutional culture: empathy, collaboration, creativity, innovation, social responsibility, global awareness and moral leadership.

“At Punahou, students not only begin to discover where their talents lie, they also begin to think seriously about what matters to them, which helps them think about where they can make the greatest contributions in the world.”

President Mike Latham ’86

Because of our generous donors, our programming from Kindergarten through Grade 12 inspires lives of purpose in our students, including:

The Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program
This program was launched by Punahou School in partnership with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education to help public school students from challenging circumstances develop the skills and confidence to attain their college aspirations. Students remain with the PUEO (Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunities) program for seven years, taking supplementary and credit courses at Punahou each summer to prepare for college and life beyond. Serving more than 300 middle- and high-school students from 64 partner schools, PUEO is one of the largest programs of its kind in the country and is made possible solely through philanthropic support.

Global education
In an era when understanding other cultures is a vital skill for children as they prepare to live and work in a global society, Wo International Center has become a conduit for collaboration among schools locally and internationally. Its programs include intensive language instruction, study abroad and summer trips for Punahou and non-Punahou students, seminars and professional development for educators from around the world. Campaign funding will create more study abroad opportunities for students, while expanding global education experiences at home.

Social responsibility
Luke Center for Public Service inspires service learning and social entrepreneurship from kindergarten through grade 12. It is the nucleus of curricular and non-curricular activities that encourages students to build a culture of public purpose at Punahou while also contributing to the broader community. Thousands of students have assumed volunteer leadership roles and projects since the center’s founding in 2004, and campaign gifts will increase opportunities for students, faculty and community leaders to explore relevant, real-world action that improves the lives of others.

Hawaiian Studies
This has been a key feature of the School curriculum for decades, enriched and inspired by Punahou’s unique roots in island history. The program exposes all K – 12 students to core values and concepts in Hawaiian culture. Other goals include deepening children’s sense of place, and encouraging a sense of responsibility, or kuleana, to care for their island home.