ASCC awards Fall 2011 in-house scholarships

ASCC recently announced the recipients of the Presidential Merit and the Saili le Atamai Scholarships. These internally-funded scholarships award academic excellence and assist outstanding students who do not qualify for the Pell Grant. Four of this semester’s five recipients are pictured here: (l-r) Elisa Ongosia, Gemmir Luardo, Ting Ting Li and June Fuifatu. Not pictured: Delilah Asiata. [Photo: J. Kneubuhl]

The Student Services division of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) recently announced the recipients of the College's Presidential Merit Scholarship as well as the Saili Le Atamai Scholarship sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA).

The two recipients of the Presidential Merit Scholarship will receive $500 towards their education costs, while three recipients of the Saili Le Atamai Scholarship will receive $250 each this semester. The Office of the ASCC President provides funding for the Presidential Merit Scholarship, awarded this semester to Ms. June Fuifatu and Ms. Elisa Tupou Ongosia. The SGA sets aside a portion of the student activity fee to fund the Saili le Atamai Scholarship, which goes this semester to Ms. Gemmir Luardo, Ms. Delilah Asiata, and Ms. Ting Ting Li.

Most students born in American Samoa automatically qualify for the Pell Grant, a federal source of funding that covers tuition, books, fees, and supplies, and even a portion of the student's living expenses. However, young men and women born outside the US and its territories sometimes cannot meet the strict requirements for Pell awards, and two ASCC In-House Scholarships, help these students meet the costs of their attendance at the College. While the Saili le Atami Scholarship has been designated solely for the benefit of students who do not qualify for the Pell Grant, students who do qualify for the Pell may also apply for the Presidential Merit Scholarship.

The In-House Scholarships aid some of the College's most promising students, many of whom in turn hope to someday return home to serve their community. Presidential Merit Scholar June Fuifatu, 20, who comes from Fagatogo and graduated from Samoana, would like to expand on her current Liberal Arts major to someday either practice law or protect the environment.

"After I graduate this fall, I will be attending UH Hilo, majoring in Marine Science, and taking some pre-law courses to prepare to take the LSAT for Law School," she says. "I want to become a lawyer, but if the future does not go according to what I have planned, then my second option would be working for CRAG (Coral Reef Advisory Group), to help better American Samoa's coral reef".

Tafuna resident Elisa Tupou Ongosia, also 20 years old, a Samoana graduate and majoring in Liberal Arts, hopes her Presidential Merit Scholarship will help her towards her goal of someday returning home to teach. "My educational goals after I graduate from ASCC this December is go on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earn a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science", she explained. "Afterwards, if my good graces allow, I plan to further my education at UH Manoa to earn a Masters Degree in the educational field. Then I'd like to return to American Samoa and become a teacher or find any education-related employment."

Students chosen this semester for the Saili Le Atamai Scholarship include Accounting major Ms. Gemmir Luardo, originally from the Philippines; Ms. Delilah Asiata, a Business Management major who hails from the Independent State of Samoa; and Ms. Ting Ting Li, also an Accounting major, who comes from China. Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le'i, encourages students who do not receive the Pell Grant to apply for the In-House Scholarships, and also invites any private organizations, businesses or individuals who might have an interest in establishing a scholarship at the College to contact her to discuss this possibility. To reach Dr. Le'i, call ASCC at 699-9155 and ask for Student Services.


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