Thursday | November 23, 2017
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Big Island arts, culture, education programs share Bank of Hawaii Foundation award

The Akamai Workforce Initiative, through the Hawaii Community Foundation, the North Kohala Community Resource Center-Kohala Elementary School Discovery Garden and the Kohala Center Inc. are the three recipients of this year’s Bank of Hawaii Foundation Monty Richards Hawaii Island Community Leadership Award.

The award honors outstanding leadership of nonprofits providing benefits for residents of Hawaii County. This year’s awards focused on helping Hawaii Island youth of low- to moderate-income households have access to internships, jobs or other leadership, entrepreneurship or skills training.

Akamai Workforce Initiative received $20,000; the other two recipients each received $5,000. The announcement was made during a special presentation Oct. 9 at Kahua Ranch in Waimea. The award was established in 2008 in honor of Herbert “Monty” Montague Richards Jr., a Hawaii Island community leader and former longtime board director for Bank of Hawaii.

Akamai Workforce Initiative supports placement of college students from Hawaii Island in summer internships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics offered through AWI. Bank of Hawaii Foundation is supporting AWI through the Hawaii Community Foundation, which funded the program for the third consecutive year.

The North Kohala Community Resource Center-Kohala Elementary School Discovery Garden was started in 2010 after a gulch behind the school was cleared and a mission was created “to teach in an exploratory manner, sustainable agricultural practices, STEM subjects, wellness and nutrition, and Hawaiian pono behavior in the setting of a school garden.”

The Kohala Center is an independent, community-based center for research, conservation and education. The center conducts basic and applied research, policy research, conservation and restoration initiatives, public outreach and education in the core areas of food and energy self-reliance and ecosystem health.

For more information about Bank of Hawaii’s charitable foundation services, visit


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