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Kupu’s Story 

Kupu, which means “to sprout” or “to grow” in Hawaiian, has a two-fold mission: to preserve the land while empowering youth. The organization provides hands-on training in conservation, sustainability, and environmental education for young adults, with the goal of fostering our next generation of environmental and cultural stewards. Kupu’s work has been likened to the role of the kupukupu fern, which is one of the first plants to recultivate the land after a lava flow. The fern not only serves as a foundational species for rebuilding a healthy, native ecosystem, but it also symbolizes a place where knowledge can grow.   

Established in 2007 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, Kupu empowers future generations to create a more sustainable, pono Hawai‘i.  Kupu accomplishes this by partnering with conservation and sustainability focused agencies throughout the state and pacific in providing hands-on service opportunities which educate and mentor young adults and emerging professionals to become stewards of our communities and environment.  Since 2007, Kupu has risen to meet the increasing demands of the green job sector by engaging thousands of youth in the areas of conservation, sustainability, and environmental education. Kupu affirms the Hawaiian notion of “ma ka hana ka ʻike” or “in working one learns.”  This approach has led to the creation of hundreds of service-learning opportunities which assists in the development of Hawai’i’s emerging professionals in the green job sector while supporting hundreds of conservation and sustainability organizations across Hawai’i and the Pacific region. 

Through our programs, Kupu has provided opportunities to more than 5,200 participants culminating in more than 3 million hours of service, planting over 1.5 million native plants, and removal of 151,000 acres of invasive species. For their service, Kupu has presented over $6 million in education awards to support the continued growth of its members. To date, Kupu has generated more than $176 million in economic benefits to the state of Hawai‘i. 

Kupu’s Mission 

“To empower youth to serve their communities through character-building, service-learning, and environmental stewardship opportunities that encourage integrity (pono) with Ke Akua, self, and others.” 

Kupu’s CHOSEN Values 

   C      CharacterÂ�​�

   H      Humility ​

   O      ‘Ohana 

   S       Service 

   E       Excellence 

   N       Nobility 

677 Ala Moana Blvd, Ste 1200
Honolulu, HI 96813
Open jobs: 4
Industry: Nonprofit & Social Services