As breathtaking as Hawaii’s paradise might be, it faces its own environmental and economic challenges. On this student community service program in Hawaii, teens have the opportunity to make a difference by working at the Habitat for humanity ReStore, preserving the environment and learning about endangered sea turtles. You’ll also learn about Hawaiian culture and gain an appreciation of the Hawaiian people and their way of life. This Hawaii student tour uses a service-learning framework where our staff provide guidance and reflection on the impact of the work we do throughout the program and promote the value of empathy and cultural sensitivity. Beautiful weather, beaches, and scenery along with some radical surfing are just a huge bonus on this community service program. By the time of your final banquet dinner, you will be a close-knit ohana and wishing you could prolong your stay to help even more!
About This Program
What It’s Like
The perfect balance of meaningful service projects and unforgettable adventures.
Participants must be age 14 or older by the start of this program.
50 Service Hours
A certificate of completion detailing the program's service hours and projects will be issued after the trip.
Everybody participates together in each project. Specific projects are confirmed in late spring and are similar to those described.
Includes breakfast and dinner daily, plus 12 lunches.
Includes all recreation & activities listed.
Travel in passenger vans driven by our staff.
Up to 24 participants.
• Work at the ReStore helping with a variety of tasks.
• Surf the waves in Maui with professional instructors.
• Help protect threatened species of turtles through educational outreach.
• Explore the ocean by submarine.
• Preserve the environment and natural beauty of Maui.
• Cruise to and snorkel the Molokini Crater.
• Surf a wave on an outrigger canoe.
• Tour Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.
Spend a day learning about marine ecosystems and coral ecology. Have fun getting into the ocean to do your part to help the reefs heal and ensure a healthy marine ecosystem for the future. Then head inland to the Honokowai Valley to visit one of the richest archeological sites of the Hawaiian people. Here you will help maintain the sites to keep them clean of invasive species. You'll also learn about Hawaiian medicinal plants and applications, and assist with their primary goal to reforest the Honokowai Valley with native and endemic Hawaiian plant species.
About Maui Cultural Lands Maui Cultural Lands is a non-profit grass roots land trust organization. Their mission is to stabilize, protect, and restore Hawaiian cultural resources, and is founded on the principles of traditional Hawaiian values.
Did you know that 90% of Hawaii’s plant and animal species aren’t found anywhere else on Earth? We learn from our expert guide about environmental stewardship – to lessen our impact on the delicate environment of Maui and other fragile ecosystems. Be part of local preservation projects allowing you to give back to your host island. Past groups have planted taro in the ‘Iao Valley, restored ruins of coastal lands dating back a thousand years, built barriers and boardwalks to protect vulnerable land from human devastation, and cleared invasive plants at environmental restoration sites.
About ECO Maui
ECO Maui’s mission seeks to foster awareness, appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of Hawaii’s environment by educating with an interactive and immersive approach.
Working with MOCMI biologists and conservationists, participants will assist with various research and conservation projects related to Hawaii's sea turtles, coral reefs and marine pollution.
About the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute
The MOCMI is a non-profit organization based in Maui with a mission to inspire lifelong environmental stewardship and ensure the survival of coral reefs and sea turtles in Hawaii.
Participants will assemble school supplies that will greatly help the recipients this school year.
About Helping Hands Hawaii
Helping Hands Hawaii is a non-profit agency that connects individuals, families and organizations with essential human and material resources. Ready to Learn is a seasonal program that works to ensure Hawaiian children are able to attend school with the basic school supplies needed for their education. They partner with social service agencies and generous donors to help prepare school supply kits for thousands of local children.
Participants will engage in an educational program focused on the anatomy, history, and the importance of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Working alongside Malama na Honu staff, trip members will offer educational outreach and public awareness to residents and visitors. Trip members will also be engaged in hands-on work to maintain clean beaches and communicate the importance of wildlife conservation to the community.
About Malama na Honu
Malama na Honu is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Hawaiian sea turtles through education, public awareness and conservation, all in the Spirit of Aloha. They are focused on protecting this threatened species and spreading the word to the public on the continuing need for preservation efforts.
You will work at the ReStore helping with a variety of tasks from cleaning the store, organizing the shelves and unloading and sorting deliveries.
About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) has provided homes for hundreds of thousands of low-income families across the globe. In Honolulu, where homelessness is abundant, owning a home is out of reach for a majority of the native Hawaiians, and HFH’s ReStore helps provide needed funding through the resale of donated goods and recycled building materials.
Our groups tour the farm and learn about the history and importance of them lo’i - a complex system of terraces used for growing wetland taro on Oahu. You will work on an environmental project to help improve the farm.
About Ka’ala Farm
Ka’ala Farm is a non-profit organization focused on educating both local children and visitors about the importance of sustainability and preserving ancient traditions and practices. They promote the connection with the land and resources and learning the local values through working together.
Master the waves on the beaches of Kihei, Maui. Professional instructors will have you up and surfing with confidence in no time! Learn to make your own grass lei and dance like a Hawaiian then compare your moves to the real thing at an authentic luau. Sail and snorkel among 250 species of tropical fish, most of which can only be found in the Hawaiian waters! Climb aboard a submarine and explore the ocean from 100ft below sea level.
This cosmopolitan city is an adventurer’s dream! Hike Diamond Head, one of the most famous volcanic craters in the world; 99 steps and a 225-foot tunnel will bring you to breathtaking views of the entire west side of Oahu. Experience the thrill of surfing a wave on an outrigger canoe. Step into the past to pay respects at the USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor memorials.
Situated on the shores of picturesque Kahului Bay, the Maui Seaside Hotel is just minutes from Kahului the beach. Enjoy the ‘island style’ room decorations and chill at the pool with new friends in your free time.
The Holiday Inn Express is located just three blocks to Waikiki beach and a short distance to our community service partners, restaurants and activities. Amenities include a hot breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, and an outdoor pool as well as a fitness center.
Flight to Maui, Hawaii
For participants on this program, we help you coordinate your flight times and greet you upon arrival in Maui.
Separate from the airfare to and from this program, there is an additional $140 USD fee for an internal flight from Maui to Honolulu.
Return Flight Home from Honolulu, Hawaii
For your return flight from Honolulu, our leaders help you to check-in and remain at the airport until flights at designated times have departed. Depending on the number of students from the New York area we may offer a chaperoned flight home.
Where We Stay
We carefully select clean and comfortable accommodations with the needs of our students in mind. While our volunteer programs do not stay at luxury resorts, we do know that a good night’s rest, in your own bed, is key to performing your service hours well and having enough energy to enjoy the day’s activities. For this reason, and also to maintain the close group bond and to uphold the quality of this program, we do not offer any homestays.
We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality and quantity of food and variety of options. On this program in Hawaii, breakfasts are at restaurants (either the hotel’s or out) and lunches and dinners are out at restaurants.
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive experience in this area.
You will only need one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in the packing list that will be sent to you prior to departure. You will have the opportunity to do laundry at your convenience by dropping off your laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go.
Included in your program tuition is all lodging, breakfast and dinner daily, 12 lunches, recreation & entertainment listed, airport transfers in designated times, gratuities & taxes.
Not included is transportation to and from the program, internal flights, and personal spending money for snacks, souvenirs, and laundry. We also make available optional travel insurance that is not included, but highly recommended.
Please contact us with any questions. We are happy to hear from you!