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Mukaihata Graduation

Born on the island of Maui, Ashley, a single mother, decided it was time for bigger opportunities. Since Ashley was a child she dreamt of becoming a nurse but felt that after high school and having a child she had no direction. She knew that working a part-time job wasn’t going to be enough yet without support and motivation Ashley felt lost and confused about fulfilling her dream.

In the fall of 2009, Ashley decided to enroll at the University of Hawaii Maui College to pursue her studies to become a nurse. Moreover, Ashley had ambition to not only become a nurse; she was going to become a Registered Nurse. She applied for Financial Aid and scholarships, but realized she was still going to need to work. She knew that being a single parent, going to school and trying to work was going to be a big challenge. Within a month into the semester, Ashley found that it was very stressful to juggle it all. She needed some help.

With the help of a friend, Ashley found the needed support to continue her education. She was introduced to the Ku’ina Program. Ku’ina was able to assist her with purchasing her textbooks and nursing supplies. The program was also able to assist in paying her exam fees. But Kuina offered her much more than just financial assistance. Ashley appreciated belonging to a program that could connect her to other campus and community resources. Ku’ina had also set requirements in place that required her to spend time studying and attend study skills workshops which helped her become a better college student. Additionally, Ku’ina Program staff helped her create a plan to help her stay motivated, focused and on track with organizing and reaching her goals.

With hard work and determination Ashley has attained her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Certificate and her Associate in Science degree in Nursing. Within two months of attaining her degree, Ashley obtained a Registered Nursing job at a nursing home facility. And she is not done yet. Although Ashley knows that there will be challenges along the way, she continues setting goals for herself as she continues her education to get her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.  Ashley received personal and academic counseling from Kuina. She knows that if it had not been for the guidance and support from the program, she could have easily given up and would not be working in her field of interest. She received the training that she needed on how to be self sufficient in finding and using resources available to single parents who want to further their education.