For more than 10 years, Waipahu High School students and staff have raised funds through the Great Aloha Run High School Challenge, a program that gives high school students the opportunity to participate in the Great Aloha Run as well as enjoy friendly competition against other high schools to earn money for their school. Longtime sponsor Sueda and Associates sponsors up to 100 Waipahu High School students and staff members to participate in this event each year.
In 2018, Waipahu High School established a vocational training program for students with special needs and in 2020, the school created the Ohana of Excellence Academy to support this student population with the donated funds from the Great Aloha Run and other sources.
As the Great Aloha Run was a virtual event in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, students with special needs who were not able to participate in the past due to challenges with transportation and health care needs were able to participate in the event for the first time.
The Ohana of Excellence Academy held an in-person kickoff to start the weeklong virtual event.
In October of 2021, with the support of former Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi, the Ohana of Excellence Academy became the first academy for students with disabilities to be nationally recognized and certified by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC).
With over $4,000 in donations from the Great Aloha Run in the past 4 years, the school has also been able to fund the Cane Bookstore and Printshop.
Kudos to Waipahu High School for participating in the Great Aloha Run and using those donations to create something special within its community.