Matching UHM’s Institutional Learning Outcomes, one of HELP’s Program Learning Outcomes is for students “to demonstrate personal development . . . (by) participation in activities with the larger community both on and off campus.” Service Learning is one way to fulfill this outcome and it is required of all HELP students.


What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is a method by which students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of a community.

How will service learning help me learn and develop?

Service-Learning helps you…

  • discover the connection between your classroom studies and the real world
  • gain experiences and possible career skills that will enhance your resume
  • develop writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
  • learn how to communicate across cultures and generations

What is the difference between service learning and volunteering?

Doing a service, such as a beach cleanup or helping children in an after-school program, are unpaid, volunteer activities. These types of service become “service-learning” when they require the student to prepare a critical reflection on each service in the form of an essay, presentation, or the completion of a survey questionnaire.


What kind of service can I participate in?

There are a wide variety of service options. Some are one-day events, such as  serving a meal at a homeless shelter or helping at a cultural festival, and others are term-long commitments, such as visiting the elderly at a retirement home or doing after-school activities with elementary school children.

Please note: While we would like you to be able use both listening and speaking skills in English during the activities, you may not always be required to speak with others; for example, you may be asked to put away books in a school library by yourself. For all activities, you will have to listen to instructions in English. Then, it is your responsibility to try to speak with those you meet because people may think you cannot speak much English since you are an ESL student.


How many hours of service is required?

Every student is required to serve a minimum of six hours per term. HELP encourages students to serve more hours at one or more sites


What proof of the hours of service can I show to other educational institutions or an employer?

At the end of each term, you will receive a digital service-learning badge that corresponds to the number of hours you worked. Any school or employer can view your badge on the HELP website, or your own website, along with a description of it.

There are three levels of badge awards:

  1. Green = 6 hours
  2. Purple = 10 hours
  3. Blue = 15+ hours










How do I get started?

There are three (3) steps in completing the service-learning requirement:

1.  Choose  

During the first week of the term, select a service-learning activity that is good for you. If you have any questions about these options, please speak with the service learning coordinator. When you are ready, please sign up for at least 6 hours of service learning. You will need to sign up for your first service by the beginning of the second week of the term. If you need more hours during the term, please see the coordinator for more choices.

2.  Serve   

Service learning is an important part of your studies at HELP. You will do some volunteer work at a place not far from the university. You will be working with other HELP students, and you will need to work closely and communicate with your service learning organization. Please do your best because your organization will rely on you.

3.  Reflect  

During and after your service learning, you will be asked to write about your experiences or give a presentation. These writing projects and presentations are an important step in service learning. They will help you to understand the value of your service learning while learning to express yourself in English.

Fall 1 2014



*Ho‘oulu ‘Aina

[For all levels]

Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services (KKV) is pleased to offer opportunities for community gardening, reforestation, environmental education and the preservation of land-based cultural knowledge at Ho`oulu `Aina (the Kalihi Valley Nature Preserve).  In this “welcoming place of refuge for people of all cultures,” healing the land heals us as well.  Ho’oulu ‘Aina is flourishing under the enthusiasm and hard work of its staff and hundreds of community volunteers.

DUTIES:  Work in the garden – pull weeds/prepare garden for planting; Help in the kitchen to prepare meals; help with planting and clearing the forest.  (Waiver forms must be filled before volunteering.)


*Lanikai Beach & Park Foundation

[For Intemediate level and higher]

The Lanikai Association is a local organization which aims to enhance and protect the unique quality of life and character of our beachside community on the Windward side of Oahu.

  DUTIES: Help with conducting a beach survey of beachgoers & beach activities.  (Application forms must be filled before volunteering.)




*Aloha Harvest

[For all levels]

Aloha Harvest is a non-profit organization that gathers quality, donated food and delivers it “free of charge” to social service agencies feeding the hungry in Hawai‘i.

DUTIES:  Help with shredding and labeling; label supplies (e.g. pans, cake boxes) and label cookbooks.  (Application forms must be filled before volunteering.)


*River of Life Mission

[For Intermediate level and higher]

The Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization feeding hundreds of hungry people daily who come from all walks of life.  We receive no state or federal funds.  Most of our income comes from contributions of individuals, churches and businesses.  Some funding comes from private foundations or grants.

  DUTIES: Help us put food on plates and serve the plates in the dining room /Help prepare food, cutting vegetables, making salads, cutting cakes/pies – put slices on plates.





*Prince Johah Kuhio Elementary

[For Intermediate level and higher]

Duties: Help with the school’s afternoon “Reading is Fun” program (for grades K-3 students).  You will do work similar to a tutor – read story books to the elementary school students; help the students with their pronunciation, reading comprehension and fluency.  (Waiver forms must be filled out before volunteering.)




*Hale Ola Kino  [Rehabilitation and Nursing Home Facility]

[For Intermediate level and higher]

Hale Ola Kino features progressive rehabilitative and long-term care programs, as well as respite services.

DUTIES: Help with activities and share conversations, interests and hobbies with the residents.  (Training information handouts must be read before volunteering.)


*Leahi Hospital  [Skilled Nursing Facility]

[For Intermediate level and higher]

  Leahi Hospital has been providing quality care since 1901.  The goal of Leahi Hospital is to provide quality individual care and services.  Leahi Hospital is one of two facilities under Oahu Region within Hawaii Health Systems Corporation.  Hawaii Health Systems Corporation is made up of thirteen medical facilities within the State of Hawaii and together, these facilities provide a safety net of medical care for the people of Hawaii.

Leahi Hospital is Medicare and Medicaid certified and has 164 beds: 155 nursing home beds, dually certified as Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), 9 Acute/Tuberculosis beds.  Individuals requiring long term care or short term restorative care are admitted to our nursing facility beds.

  DUTIES: Volunteers are needed to transport patients in wheelchairs to and from activities, help out with activities, and other related duties.  Sample volunteer jobs available: activity helpers, playing ukulele or piano, help residents do crafts, play Hanafuda or Mah Jong.