During the week of May 21-27, 2023, the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology, and Pharmacology hosted Pacific Islander high school and community college students for the inaugural Pathways for the Advancement of Pacific Islanders, or PAPI Program. The week culminated in an Awards Night on May 26, 2023 where students shared their experiences with faculty, family and friends at the East West Center on the UH Manoa campus. The PAPI Program was supported by the 2022 UH Manoa Provost’s Strategic Investment Initiative. This summer bridge program, to expose and encourage students to apply to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and major in biomedical sciences, was an overwhelming success.
The PAPI Program which began in Spring 2023, was designed to provide high school juniors, seniors, and UH community college students with an opportunity to explore various STEMM-related programs and career pathways (STEMM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) . The program seeks to integrate indigenous values into STEMM education while providing students the opportunity to explore various programs. The PAPI program will provide ongoing outreach and academic services collaborating and serving as a “bridge” with various programs and departments at UHM as well as in the community. The PAPI Program is directed by Dr. Pakieli Kaufusi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology & Pharmacology. Looking back at the week of activities, Dr. Kaufusi said, “This is going to leave a very huge impact on the Pacific Island communities here in Hawaii, and to motivate them to be in the health-related fields, especially the various programs in JABSOM.”
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Photo credits: Vina Cristobal, JABSOM Communications, Media & Government Affairs