Why Support WHEA?

slideshow14West Hawaii Explorations Academy (WHEA) is a unique public charter school located on the Kona Coast at Keahole Point, within the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (NELHA), adjacent to Kona International Airport.

WHEA was founded in 1994 and has 18 years of STEM-focused project-based learning and community partnerships.


Accolades and Awards

  • First Hawaii Public Charter High School (2000)
  • FirstWestern Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) Accredited Hawaii Charter School (2002)
  • WASC Accreditation with Commendation (2009)
  • WASC Accreditation Awarded for a six-year term, the longest period attainable through WASC (2011)
  • National Recognition from the George Lucas Educational Foundation, “Schools that Work” video series (2001 and 2007)
  • Intel and Scholastic Schools of Distinction Award for Science Achievement, High School Division (2005).
  • Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School (2005)
  • Governor’s Innovation Award for Innovation in Government (2008)
  • 50% of WHEA seniors participated in University of Hawaii Running Start (early college entry); while statewide the rate was lower than 4% (2010)
  • WHEA students score significantly higher than their peers statewide on SATs, scoring 122 points above the average for Critical Reading, 44 points above the average for Math, and 99 points above the average for Writing


West Hawaii Explorations Academy continues to be a leader in project-based learning, but although the school is a public charter school,  it receives no facilities funding.

In fact, regular Hawaii DOE schools receive about $14,000 per student and all facilities are provided, while and charter schools like WHEA receive just half that – $7000 per student – and must fund all student needs and facility improvements from that budget.

In order to grow and continue to serve our community with this unique educational opportunity, our school is desperately in need of your tax-deductible donation to help us provide students with:

  • Student Union/Food Service with certified kitchen;
  • Multi-Purpose Court (for sports activities);
  • 15 Passenger Vans – our motto is “No Child Left Indoors” and the curriculum calls for students to be ‘out and about’ in the community;
  • Enrichment and Extra-Curricular Programs – including art, music, and sports such as track, basketball, volleyball).

Reaching Higher

The Kailua-Kona community has always been a vibrant and special place. For many families who live here, WHEA provides children with a choice – a different way of learning that encourages them to think out of the box. It also empowers them to take an active role in their education and reach higher. West Hawaii Explorations Academy provides Hawaii’s students with a real education for the real world. Won’t you support the future with a donation that empowers the next generation to solve problems and create solutions?

Your donation provides students an innovative approach that teaches them to take responsibility for their own education. WHEA’s graduates are prepared to take on the world, having been provided with project-based learning that doesn’t tell them what to think… but rather HOW to think.

We look forward to your support!

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