Pacific Islander Initiative


The Pacific Islander Initiative strives to be a “home away from home,” for our Pacific Islander students, staff, faculty, and community.


We are committed to providing opportunities, resources, and support to help our students succeed at UVU throughout their academic journey.

We encourage all to participate and engage in the sharing and learning of cultural beliefs and traditions, lived experiences, and furthering growth and understanding.

We hope to build our community of ʻohana - family, so that when you leave you have built life long friendships and relationships.

pua aloalo ulaula

About Us

Launched in the summer of 2015, the Pacific Islander Initiative at Utah Valley University received its start through a grant funded by the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and StepUp Utah, in partnership with continuing to build relationships with community partners and organizations to better serve our Pacific Islander students while striving to collectively promote and advocate for academic and cultural success among our Pacific Islander students within UVU and the community.


Engagement with our current and prospective Pacific Islander students and the community is vital to the success of our initiative and because of these strong relationships we are able to bridge the gaps collectively that prevent our Pacfici Islander students from obtaining higher education opportunities.


"This will be my 3rd year at Utah Valley University and I can honestly say that the Pacific Islander Initiative program has been such a great resource for myself throughout my time here at school. The days get long and being homesick doesn't even begin to cover the amount of stress that comes with being a first generation college student. Moving from a small island in the middle of the Pacific to a completely different state there are definitely some. These programs have created a space where I can relate to both faculty and students without the feeling of being an outcast. They truly want you to succeed and that's more than what I’ve had before this school."

"The Pacific Islander Initiative really helped me a lot during my first year of college. Being far away from home and knowing almost no one can make the transition into college that much harder. Being a part of the Pacific Islander Initiative helped me feel like I had a place I could call home in Utah.  It really is all about community and the people you surround yourself with. The group activities and practices for performances really allowed me to have a group that made me feel welcomed and not alone. The culture I grew up in where everyone helps out everyone is what I felt...a home away from home where those that will definitely get homesick from moving from a small island to a huge state can feel welcomed. The initiative became a family and we all treated each other with aloha just as we would at home."

“As a new student here at UVU with very little friends and people I knew the Pacific Islander Initiative helped connect me with people from home which gave me that feeling of comfort knowing I could talk to people about home. The initiative helped me expand my friend group which in turn helped me to have a good mindset to perform well in school because I had good friends that were going through the same thing as me which was pushing through and adjusting to life in college as new freshmen.

Join Us