The Ke Ala Pono Student Development Program supports the vision and goals of Kīpuka by providing services that support academic success of Native Hawaiian students within an intellectually stimulating and culturally responsive environment.

Support Services Available

Peer Mentorship Program

The Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center - Ke Ala Pono Peer Mentorship Program provides support to new students enrolled in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Students (mentees) that participate in this program will partner with Peer Mentors with comparable backgrounds, majors, and interests. This will be a structured partnership that is designed to help mentees acclimate to this new academic environment. The overall purpose is to support Native Hawaiian student success and retention.

  • The development of successful study habits
  • Provide guidance and academic support through tutoring, group work, brainstorming, etc.
  • Help student get acclimated to the college environment by "showing them the ropes"
  • Provide support, advice, and encouragement


Subject Areas:
  • ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi
  • English & Writing
  • Math & Science

Academic Advising

  • College and career planning
  • Degree pathways mapping
  • Course selection
  • Scholarship / FAFSA support
  • Academic probation advising
  • Academic / Financial aid appeals
  • Transfer support
  • General advising
  • Connecting students to available resources

Technology Use

  • Designated for use by registered students only.
  • Students must sign the COMPUTER USE AGREEMENT prior to using any of the computers.
  • Terms for computer use are detailed on the agreement.
  • IMPORTANT: (1) Collateral for the laptops must be provided.
    • Student identification cards are preferred.
    • However Passports, driver’s licenses, or State IDs can also be used as collateral.

Mālama Kaiāulu (Community Service)


The Mālama Kaiāulu Program coordinates culturally relevant community service activities within engaging learning environments. Work sites are located both on and off campus. Student participants can apply accumulated hours to scholarship and course requirements.

For more information or to sign up, please contact:

Kalei Baricuatro
Student Leadership Development Facilitator
Email: mbaricua@hawaii.edu
Phone: (808) 932--7509
Fax: (808) 932--7421

Peer Mentors


Kainalu Steward


Aloha nui kākou! My name is Kainalu Steward and I was born and raised in Lahaina, Maui. This is my fourth year at UH Hilo with a major in Hawaiian Studies and a minor in Agriculture. On my free time I love to surf, volunteer at the loko iʻa, or just listen to roots reggae music. I also enjoy connecting with others and giving back to the community. I like to use science as a tool to better understand the past of our kupuna and apply it to improve our current natural resources. I think its important for kanaka maoli to be involved and seek higher education!

Moananui Peleiholani-Blankenfeld


Aloha kākou! My name is Moana Peleiholani-Blankenfeld. I was born and raised in Kalapana. I am currently in my last year of my undergrad, double majoring in Hawaiian Studies and Anthropology. I enjoy playing music with my friends/family and going to the beach whenever i’m free.

Makoa Caceres


Aloha ʻoukou! ʻO wau nō ʻo Makoa Caceres. I am a Peer Mentor at Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center. I am from Kapolei, Oʻahu. I am currently in my 3rd year here at UH Hilo. I am a double major in Hawaiian Studies and Political Science, a minor in Anthropology, and I am also pursuing a certificate in Pre-Law. I am a huge video game, football, and music nerd. If you ever need someone to jam some mele with, or you want someone to talk to, Iʻm always here!

Kaitlyn Evans


Aloha mai! I am a new Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center Peer Mentor. Born and raised in Waiehu, Maui, I graduated from Kamehameha Schools Maui and am now majoring in Environmental Science, and minoring in Hawaiian Studies. I am very passionate about connecting people to place, being in touch with the environment, art, hula, and Hawaiian culture. I have also started a small sticker collection of different plants you can find in Hawaiʻi! I recently created a native/endemic collection, helping to spread awareness of native Hawaiian plants.

(Check out my Instagram handle @alohainbloom !) Come and chat with me in the Kalākaua Lab during my hours! I'm excited to meet all of you!

Kolokea Kauaula


Anoʻai me ke aloha! My name is Kolokea Kauaula and I am a new Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Center Peer Mentor. I was born and raised on the Leeward side of Oʻahu in Nānākuli and this is my second year at UH Hilo. I am currently majoring in Hawaiian Studies with a minor in both Agriculture and Gender & Women Studies. Some of my interests include going to the beach, holoholo “cruising,” and caring for the environment. Come stop by Kālakaua Lab and chat with me during my hours! I am stoked to meet you all!!

Cydnee Maunakea


Aloha mai kākou! My name is Cydnee Maunakea and I am a new Kīpuka Peer Mentor. I am a Hawaiian Studies major and this is my second year here at UH Hilo. I am from Hawaii Kai, Oʻahu, but I was raised in Waimānalo. I love to go body surfing, painting, and music. So if you like go beach we go! If you need someone to talk to, I’m always in Kālakaua Lab either working or doing homework. I can’t wait to meet you!

Sheldon Rosa


Aloha mai kākou! I am currently a junior pursuing a double major in Marine Science and Hawaiian Studies, and am a peer mentor at Kīpuka. I was born and raised in Kahaluʻu, Oʻahu, and enjoy going to the beach, playing music, and sleeping.

I also worked at First Year Experience (FYE) as a student ambassador for two years, so I am well informed about various resources around the campus, and Kīpuka is definitely an awesome resource to connect with! Donʻt be afraid to hang out and study with some awesome Nakaz! We were once in your shoes and are here to guide you through your college experience.

Kalākaua Technology Lab


The Kalākaua Technology Lab is a supportive learning environment and study area with resources that help to ensure student success. In addition to the availability of Tutors and Peer Mentors, students can utilize the following resources:


PB 10 - 1

Operation Hours

9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. -- Monday - Thursday
9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m. -- Friday


  • Black & White
  • Color
Students may:
  1. Use Recycled paper
  2. Bring their own paper
  3. Ask Kīpuka staff for paper

Copy Machine

  • Black & White
  • Color
Copies are limited to 5 pages.

NOTE: It is prohibited to copy any copy-written materials (IE: textbooks, journals, pamphlets, etc.)

Binding & Laminating

Please see Kalākaua Technology Lab Front Desk

Back to Top