Young man with Am. Samoa roots nominated to prestigious National Leadership Forum
Sixteen year old Chanse Kainalu Foafoagaoupuolemalosamoa Shaw, a junior at a Nevada high school whose grandparents hail from American Samoa, has been nominated to the prestigious National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) on National Security set for the fall of 2013 in Washington D.C.
“I was nominated to attend this opportune event based on my academic and leadership abilities,” said Chanse, who attends Foothill High School in Henderson, Nevada. His grandfather is Benjamin Lausen and his grandmother Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Huff-Lausen.
According to the NYLF website, the Forum on National Security sets the strictest standards for nomination and enrollment, as only the nation’s highest-achieving students qualify for selection.
This ensures an unparalleled experience for Forum on National Security scholars who develop relationships with peers that benefit them for life, it says, noting that scholars for the program are nominated by their teachers or mentors, alumni of this or other NYLF programs, or are nominated based on information provided on voluntary pre-college surveys.
The Forum on National Security is a stimulating and challenging six-day program that introduces students to careers in defense, intelligence, and the diplomatic corps. Students take part in thought-provoking question and answer sessions with highly respected, internationally recognized civilian policy makers and senior military officers, who provide rich insights into current issues and discuss the strategies that helped them succeed.
During the course of the Forum, students take part in a national security strategy exercise that draws on their program experiences and teamwork. (More information on www.nylf.org)
Chanse attended a Teen Leadership Camp in 2010 and was one of two students chosen by the teachers and staff of Lyal Burkholder Middle School for the camp. As a junior at Foothill High School, he also participates in several different activities which include playing Baritone in Foothill Falcon’s Marching Band, Euphonium in Concert Band, Trombone in the Jazz Band, along with playing volleyball for Foothill Men’s Volleyball Team
He is also a team member of the Vegas Volleyball Club, and dances for Polynesian Underground Productions, a Polynesian Revue that performs all over the Las Vegas and Henderson area.
“These are a few of my activities that have given me guidelines and structure to be a role model for my cousins and friends,” he said in a statement to Samoa News.
He also says that the Forum on National Security is a “tuition based forum”. And he sends “a special THANK YOU to my family for all the support and funds donated for this once in a life time experience — from my grandfather Ben Lausen and Aunty Lupe Letuli Lausen of American Samoa; grandparents Ric and Rose Shaw of Henderson, Nevada; grandmother Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Huff-Lausen of American Samoa, and my parents Travis and Britta Lausen-Shaw.”
“I have so much encouragement from my family and friends that I have the confidence I need to fulfill my goals of becoming a more rounded individual to succeed in life,” he said. “I look forward to all the rewards of meeting new people who seek the same leadership skills I do in order to prepare me for adult life in the world. Who knows, maybe one day I may be Secretary of Defense.”
His parents said via e-mail from Nevada that “our son... has had wonderful opportunities to help him succeed in his life. He has challenged himself for reaching his academic goals while balancing his love of music and athletics.”
“With the love and support of his aiga we all know he will go far. To say we are proud parents is truly an understatement. We look forward to see what future he will bring with him,” said Travis and Britta Shaw.
His grandfather is also very proud of his grandson’s latest achievement.
“Lupe and I are extremely proud of our grandson. Truly a blessing when a young person accepts the doors of opportunities and takes the challenge,” said Lausen. “Never take anything for granted and at the end of the day, look up into the Las Vegas skies and give thanks. Be mindful of others and give help when asked.”
“Malo lava le finau i mea lelei. Fa'afetai for making us all proud. Congratulations to the parents. He could not have done it without you. It is true that it takes a village and a family to raise a child. I pray that this child with his Samoan middle name ‘FoafoaagaupuolemaloSamoa’ will serve us all well,” Lausen told Samoa News.
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