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By Bo Bleckel '14

On a clear day, the view to the south of HPA’s campus features the volcanoes Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai peaking in the distance, at the end of a vast desert. To the west, we see the Pacific Ocean, and the Kona-Kohala Coast line. Behind campus, to the north, the now extinct Kohala volcanoes are covered with green grass and grazing cattle.

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This everyday view of Hawai'i Island captures the environment of HPA’s location. Unlike the seven other main Hawaiian islands, Hawai'i Island is not densely populated, and has a large amount of uninhabited land. This land is incredibly diverse. The waving fields of grass covering the volcanic hills provide a beautiful backdrop for some of the most breathtaking beaches and stretches of coast in the state.

Video envisioned, directed, and produced by HPA students.

The coast comes up to the mountains through the expansive lava fields and dusty deserts. At the top, Mauna Kea (home to thirteen of the world’s largest telescopes) stands tall anywhere on the Island, sometimes capped with a light layer of snow, while the four other large volcanoes on the island stand at it’s side. These places, around the island, give way for incredible opportunities; whether cultural, educational, artistic, or recreational, this land provides a home for those who appreciate it.

Students at HPA grasp on to the environment of Hawai'i Island, to make the most of their high school experience in Hawai'i. The opportunities range from researching turtles with government scientists on the beautiful Hawaiian coast, to having a snowball fight on Mauna Kea. From creating a wireless apparatus to research sleep apnea, to peacefully lying in a field, watching the milky way slowly cross the night sky. This is why HPA is so special. HPA is a place where the students are left to define their own experience, while at the same time the experience is defined by the location. The environment fostered at HPA allows students to grow and become who they want to be.

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