PAPI – Pathways for the Advancement of Pacific Islanders

What Is This Program About?

The COVID-19 pandemic showed the huge differences in health, income, and education among Pacific Islanders (PIS) in Hawai‘i. PIS have been left out and left behind and represent one of the fastest-growing racial/ethnic populations in Hawai‘i. Still, they experience ongoing difficulties in accessing higher education at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Mānoa (UHM) and the UH community colleges (UHCC). The primary problems for PIS are academic readiness and educational equality.
This new summer bridge program started in 2023 and is mainly for PIS Junior and Senior high school (HS) and UHCC students. The program provides an opportunity to introduce STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) subjects. Students will visit the UHM campus for a dorm-stay program, explore the campus, get early exposure to academic and career resources, meet staff and faculty mentors, and to form friendships with their peers.

What Do Students Do in the Program?

The PIS HS students will be trained by Faculty from the following departments:

  • John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)
  • Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS)/Student Equity, Excellence & Diversity (SEED)
  • Student Academic Success/Online Learning Academy (OLA)
  • College of Natural Sciences (CNS)
  • College of Engineering (ENG)
  • Thompson School of Social Work and Public Health (TSSWPH) and more!

The HS and UHCC students will also be put into small groups or teams and produce a quality presentation. At the closing awards night, students will be presented with stipend awards.

PAPI Outreach Services

The PAPI Student Outreach Services is a program funded by the University of Hawaii at Manoa in collaboration with various university departments and the PAPI program. This program aims to provide services dedicated to Pacific Islanders to help them thrive and excel in academics and STEMM-related subjects. Through this service, students will have access to an array of programs that cater to, but are not limited to:

  • Financial Aid
  • Tutoring Services

If you’d like to apply for these services, please use the link below to sign up. For more details, please contact Dr. Pakieli Kaufusi at

Access PAPI Services

PAPI Job Opportunities

The PAPI Program is hiring students to serve as tutors or graduate assistants. The eligible students should be currently enrolled in the University of Hawaii at Manoa or a University of Hawaii Community Colleges (UHCC) and are interested in providing tutoring services for the program. Qualifications include students who excel in STEMM-related subjects that can be delivered to students in the Pacific Islander (PI) community who need help preparing for their academic success. If you are interested, you can use the link below to apply. For more details, please get in touch with Dr. Pakieli Kaufusi at 

PAPI Job Opportunities

Where Will Students Live?

Eligible HS students will be placed in UHM dormitories during the one-week program. This is an excellent opportunity for HS and UHCC students to explore the UHM campus, visit different colleges, and meet with faculty.

Which Students Can Apply?

  1. PIS HS and UHCC students interested in STEMM fields who have demonstrated independence, creativity, and an aptitude for learning are especially encouraged to apply.
  2. PIS HS students in their junior or senior years attending a public high school on any of the Hawaii islands.
  3. US citizens and permanent residents.
  4. At least 16 years of age before the program starts.
    (no exceptions)

What are the Dates of the Program?

May 21-27, 2023

Who is Paying for This?

The UHM Provost’s Strategic Investment Initiative supports the PAPI Summer Training Program.

Who to contact and how to apply?

  • Dr. Pakieli H Kaufusi (email:, Office phone: 808-692-1647, Cell phone: 808-203-4466)
  • Dr. Angela Sy (email:, Office phone: 808-692-1608)
  • Apply using the application form below: