HONOLULU - The Joint Venture Education Forum (JVEF), a cooperative partnership between Hawaii's military community, the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) and other community organizations, highlighted success stories of Hawaii's military students and their families at its 16th Annual Meeting today at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. JVEF's mission is to facilitate the educational concerns and unique needs of military children and their families, such as transitioning to the islands, and to support Hawaii's public school students.
"JVEF is an important collaboration between the Department of Education and our military leadership, coming together on behalf of our military-impacted students," said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. "It's so important for us to make sure that students, especially those who are transitioning between schools, receive the kind of welcome and supports that make them feel like part of our family here in Hawaii."
Hawaii has the highest number of military-dependent children per capita in the nation, representing approximately 15,000 students or eight-percent of the total student enrollment. The majority of these students attend 45 schools located on or near military installations in Oahu's Central, Leeward and Windward School Districts.
"Military-connected students and their families face unique challenges in adjusting to a new culture, school and community," said Senator Mazie Hirono. "JVEF's collaborative programs ease that transition, and I will continue to fight for federal Impact Aid funding so JVEF can continue its critical work."
Awards were presented recognizing JVEF's outstanding civilian and military contributors whose efforts have had a significant impact on Hawaii's military and public school students.
A joint presentation of the 2017 Daniel K. Inouye JVEF Outstanding Military Contributor Commendation Award was made to Chief Jon Franquez of the US Coast Guard. Chief Franquez was honored for his work in mentoring students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) programs called SeaPerch and Marine Advanced Technology Education. As lead facilitator, Chief Franquez hosted multiple project days with students to build underwater ROVs at local elementary schools and served as competition judge overseeing the innovative creations of over 50 participating teams from elementary, middle and high schools.
The 2017 K. Mark Takai Outstanding Civilian Contributor Commendation Award was made to Enrica Luz Guerrero for her outreach work with military-dependent students at Radford High School. Guerrero coordinates Radford's Military Youth Advisory Council and School Community Council, which bring together representatives from the US armed forces, military school liaison officers, family services, community leaders, school officials, parents and students, to improve career, tutorial, technical and academic resources. Guerrero also coordinates Radford's acclaimed student Transition Center, which provides incoming students with one-on-one peer support from other students, and the Career Shadow Program, which allows students to visit different areas of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to become familiar with career options in a multitude of fields.
43 military servicemen and women were also recognized for their dedicated volunteer work at Hawaii schools, serving as mentors for military-impacted students of all ages.
For more details on JVEF, Impact Aid and military-impacted schools in Hawaii, visit HIDOE's Military Families website.