Since 2005, Summer Helms has worked as an independent consultant providing grant writing and evaluation services for clients ranging from the University of Hawai‘i Community College system to numerous Hawaiian-serving non-profits.
Her primary focus areas are secondary and postsecondary education, facilities funding for charter schools, and capacity building for Hawaiian-serving organizations.
Her past clients include the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement as a trainer and technical assistance provider for their Administration for Native Americans, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant programs. Summer has also provided grant review for HUD, the State of California, U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation.
Summer was born in Kahuku and raised on the North Shore of O‘ahu. She attended St. Francis High School in Honolulu, and received her Bachelor’s in History from University of California, San Diego. While working towards her Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) at San Diego State University, she worked as the evaluation coordinator for a private firm in San Diego whose main clients were the Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts. She developed and implemented evaluation protocols for programs such as Tobacco Use Prevention, Safe and Drug Free Schools, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention, as well as co-authoring several of the initial and renewal grant proposals for these programs. She soon became the lead evaluator for the County of San Diego Office of Public Health, primarily for the Tobacco Prevention Programs.
In 2000, Summer returned to Hawaii to take a position with the University of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i Community College, initially as a federal grant writer and later as Project Director for Title III Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions program and HUD grants—both serving the Native Hawaiian population. She became their Institutional Researcher in 2003 up until the time she started her own business.
She lives with her husband, Rogelio, and three boys, Nainoa, Kekoa and Kawai.