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The CANOE Academy

The CANOE Academy, previously known as The Hawaii Health Career Academy, is a FREE college and health career success course for 8th through undergrad students directed by the Hawai’i Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center (AHEC).

The Academy provides year long support through once a month in-person sessions to students who may face academic or economic challenges but are still motivated to pursue higher secondary education and a health care related field.

First piloted in March 2017 as CANOE (Create and Navigate Opportunities in Education), the monthly in-person sessions cultivate a cohort of students to become more employable for entry level positions in local health care facilities. The on-going success of CANOE program in Oahu has sparked the birth of CANOE to take place on Hawai’i Island and has expanded to a 5+ year program called the Academy on Oahu.

In addition to extensive exposure to health careers and community needs, students will receive personalized resume, scholarship, financial aid, and college application support. We will do wide-ranging pathway planning (traditional and non-traditional) and provide PSAT and SAT preparation. Students will engage in interview, personal statement, financial planning, and resume workshops. We will connect students to community service, shadowing, research, and scholarship opportunities. Various field trips will include college tours, community health centers, hospitals, and more.

Through our Academy, students receive FREE American Heart Association CPR, /AED/ First Aid, HIPAA, and OSHA certifications.

The Academy provides students with the opportunity to successfully apply for employment, internships, research, and shadowing programs within their local communities.

Each cohort will graduate into the next cohort grade upon successful completion of their academic year and summer intensive project put on by the Academy. Sessions will be held on various sites across the island of Oahu.

Students in 8th through 12th grade, as well as undergraduate students are eligible to apply.

Applicants can apply on a rolling admissions basis and preference will be given to students who attend Title 1 Public Schools and/or need additional academic or economic support.

The following will need to be submitted:

  • Online or paper copy of Application
  • Official or Unofficial Transcripts
  • Release Form

Release form and transcripts must be emailed to academy.ahec@hawaii.edu, faxed to (808)692-1258, or mailed to:
The CANOE Academy C/O Joey Sumulong
Hawai’i/Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center
University of Hawai’i, John A. Burns School of Medicine
651 Ilalo St., MEB Room 224
Honolulu, HI 96813-5525
Phone: 808-692-1060

Download “Canoe-Academy-WH1.pdf” Canoe-Academy-WH1.pdf – Downloaded 41 times – 583 KB

Download “Canoe-Academy-Release-Form.pdf” Canoe-Academy-Release-Form.pdf – Downloaded 27 times – 362 KB

Download “Canoe-Academy-Application-2019-2020.pdf” Canoe-Academy-Application-2019-2020.pdf – Downloaded 25 times – 255 KB



Download “CANOE-Academy-schedule-2019-2020.pdf” CANOE-Academy-schedule-2019-2020.pdf – Downloaded 40 times – 510 KB

The Academy strengthens:

  • Academic & Health Career Planning
  • Time & Money Management
  • STEM Literacy & Health Exploration
  • Interviewing & Professionalism
  • Team & Leadership Skills
  • Community Building
  • Holistic Well Being & Resilience

Frequently Asked Questions

1) How many students in each cohort by grade level?

A maximum of 30 students will be in each cohort for each grade level in each location.

2) How do they get there? (Transportation)

Ideally, the applicant will have their own transportation to the closest location to where they live and go to school. If a student finds it more convenient to go to another location; for example, if a parent, guardian, or family member is able to drive them to another location, then choose another location on our application.

3) Would you consider partnering with schools during the school year?  with our College Counseling Department, Career & Technical Education Programs, STEM -Engineering , AVID, Leadership.. our various Academics

Yes, we are open to collaborating! We have various workshops and topics planned throughout the year and would love to collaborate with existing partners and programs to highlight local resources, especially for our summer intensive. Keep in mind, we are looking for students who are at a high risk of failing out of school academically and may not qualify for other STEM or health programs in the area.

4) What are the sessions like and what are some other program requirements?

Sessions run for 2 hours once a month. Sessions will include hands on workshops, activities, and guest speakers. Attendance monthly sessions and summer intensive is mandatory.

Students will also have to complete 25 hours of community service throughout the year. Community service opportunities will be provided outside of the monthly sessions for students to participate in. Student are also encouraged to seek out more community service projects on their own to accumulate 25 hours for the year.

5) What if I don’t want to go to college?

We hope that we can inspire you to go to college but understand that our students have a wide set of interests, goals and priorities. One of the objectives of the Academy is to prepare students with the necessary skills to be successful as they enter the workforce and to set you up for the best chance of success in whatever field you pursue.

6) What are the costs associated with this program?

There is no cost for the Academy. It is a FREE program put on by the Hawaii/Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center (AHEC). All certifications are covered by the Hawaii/Pacific Basin AHEC, making them free for the students to become certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid, National OSHA, and American Heart Association HeartSaver CPR, First Aid & AED.