Luke Center for Public Service recently received two transformational gifts: Through the Case Foundation, Punahou Trustee Steve Case ’76 and wife Jean established the Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship; and fellow Punahou Trustee Warren Luke ’62 and his family made a significant gift to develop a Luke Center presence in the K – 12 Learning Commons.
One of Punahou’s oldest centers – Luke Center for Public Service, which opened in 2004 thanks to the generosity of the K.J. Luke Family – recently received two transformational gifts to strengthen its focus on student entrepreneurship. Through the Case Foundation, Punahou Trustee Steve Case ’76 and wife Jean established the Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship to extend Luke Center’s work throughout the school by supporting students in developing solutions to real-world problems and questions. “One of the most important skills for the future is not just focusing on what’s in front of us but on what’s going to happen next. So we need to give our students the skill set to help them think about where things might be going and bring a fearlessness, a sense of possibility and an entrepreneurial mindset to bear by asking why things can’t be another way,” said Case in Punahou’s recent video, “Pioneering a New World.”
In the months since newly appointed co-directors Kamal Kapadia and Dan Kinzer assumed leadership of the Luke Center and launched their work on the Case Accelerator for Student Entrepreneurship, they have been in a whirlwind of activity. In addition to collaborating with the other centers and working with faculty to incorporate entrepreneurship opportunities into classrooms, they launched the Systems Change Leadership Program, engaging 20 Academy students on a dozen entrepreneurial explorations related to food security, smart and renewable energy solutions, land and water conservation, plastic pollution, disability and homelessness. This past September, Luke Center was a key player in partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to host the MIT Launch Clubs Blastoff! event, which was webcast worldwide and attracted more than 125 high school students from a dozen schools for a five-hour “inventathon.” Luke Center continues to support LaunchX Club activities with 25 students in five teams working on projects addressing challenges to sustainability. Summer professional internships, curricular connections and professional development around student entrepreneurship are other areas of focus in progress.
More recently, fellow Punahou Trustee Warren Luke ’62 and his family made a significant gift to develop a Luke Center presence in the K – 12 Learning Commons. “As Punahou approaches another milestone in its history, the Luke family welcomed the opportunity to help the school celebrate its past and prepare for its future in educating students who will make a difference in our community and the world,” says Luke. “It is time to take the Luke Center for Public Service to its next level. While most people think of community service as volunteering and philanthropy, we believed that we could create a community of change-makers who were not afraid to bring about change through social entrepreneurship and innovation. The students will gain great experiences in collaboration, creativity and social responsibility. We are especially pleased that the center will play a pivotal role in the K – 12 Learning Commons, engaging the entire school and bringing together our many instructional centers. We welcome the Punahou community to join us through support of Ku‘u Punahou.”