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ASCC selects Spring 2014 Presidential Merit Scholar

The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) makes available every semester the Presidential Merit Scholarship to assist students who display academic excellence. The scholarship is open for application by both students eligible to receive federal financial aid as well as those who do not meet the necessary criteria. The ASCC Student Services Division has announced the recipient of this semester’s Presidential Merit Scholarship as Accounting major Ms. Miranda Galo.


Born in the Independent State of Samoa, Galo, 19, is a graduate of Iakina Adventist Academy and has been attending ASCC since fall 2012. Her extracurricular activities outside ASSC include mentoring with the Pathfinder Club as well as teaching in the Junior Sabbath School at Iakina Adventist Church. “It is a blessing to attend college,” said Miranda in her scholarship application, “because neither parents nor my siblings have had that opportunity. I wish to make a difference within my family and be the first college graduate.”


As a student born in Samoa, Miranda does not qualify for the financial aid resources available to locally born young men and women, but this has not stopped her in striving to succeed in life through education. She cites as an inspiration Bill Gates, a one-time college dropout who worked his way to becoming one of the world’s wealthiest men. “Growing up in an environment where hard work is simply a reality makes me driven to succeed,” she said. “The example of Bill Gates shows that failure is simply a lack of persistence.”


In addition to her studies, Miranda also takes part in her church’s monthly ministries at the Tafuna Correctional Facility, an experience which she says has helped her put life’s struggles in perspective. “Within this ministry, we share God’s word and establish relationships with the inmates to show them they are not alone,” she explained. “This has taught me to be a careful listener and to reach out instead of judging, because everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Seeing our brothers and sisters suffering has motivated me to take education seriously, try to make the right choices, and stay on the right path.”


Criteria for the Presidential Merit Scholarship, which consists of $500 applied towards  the recipient’s ASCC tuition, includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.60 or better, having completed 24 credits at ASCC towards an Associate degree, having received no “Incomplete” grades, having completed freshman English and Math, and having been a continuing full-time student at ASCC for at least two semesters before applying. For more details on the Presidential Merit Scholarship, contact the Division of Student Services at 699-9155, extension 376.