“Even Santa Goes to College” event draws charter school students, families

Photo of children sitting with Santa in shorts being photographed and watched by other people

Santa (Kanoa Switzer) even made an appearance at the outreach event.

About 225 students from Nā Lei Na‘auao public charter schools, their families, and others were hosted by UH West Oʻahu on Saturday, Dec. 1 for “Even Santa Goes to College,” an outreach event. 

The morning program was organized by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Title III programs such as the PIKO Project and Pueo Scholars that support student success. Students from Kapolei Charter School were also invited.

The purpose of the event was to increase college awareness and exploration for the students. Nā Lei Na‘auao – Alliance for Native Hawaiian Education schools embrace ‘ōlelo Hawai’i, ‘ike Hawai’i, and Hawaiian cultural values, philosophies and its practices. UH West Oʻahu’s mission includes a call for embracing Native Hawaiian culture and traditions, while promoting student success in an environment where students of all backgrounds are supported.

Santa’s helpers were played by faculty, staff and students

More than 50 UH West Oʻahu volunteers (students, faculty, and staff) from Student Affairs, the PIKO Project, Pueo Scholars, ʻIke Ola, Student Life, First Year Experience, Creative Media, Health Sciences, Public Administration- Health, Nursing Partnership, Hawaiian-Pacific Studies programs help present the event.  

The volunteers helped serve breakfast and take groups on a campus tour to learn about three of UH West Oʻahu’s signature programs. The Academy for Creative Media made a presentation at the ʻUluʻulu archive, while Health Sciences presented at the ʻIke Mauli Ola Nursing Simulation Lab. Hawaiian-Pacific Studies discussed its offerings to people gathered at Hale Kuahuokalā.

Entertainment was provided by Na Hoku Hanohano award-winner Mihana Souza. There was also photos with Santa (Kanoa Switzer), and Christmas activities that included making reindeer ornaments.

Image courtesy of UHWO Staff