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ASCC awards four students with Fall 2016 in-house scholarships

Recipients of the ASCC in-house scholarships for fall 2016 are (left to right) John Scanlan, Leilani Vili, Jason Tufele and James Scanlan. The in-house scholarships are intended primarily to assist students with outstanding academic achievement who do not qualify for federal financial aid. For details of recipients see story inside. [Photo: J. Kneubuhl]

The Division of Student Services at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has announced the recipients for the fall 2016 semester of the College’s two In-House Scholarships. In addition to recognizing outstanding academic performance, these scholarships also offer support to scholars who do not qualify for the federal PELL Grant or other financial aid resources available to most students in the Territory.

The Saili le Atamai Scholarship, a $500 award sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), is available to students who do not have access to federal financial aid, and goes this semester to Ms. Leilani Vili and Mr. Jason Tufele.

The Presidential Merit Scholarship, valued at $500 and open for application to all ASCC students, has been awarded to Mr. James Scanlan and Mr. John Scanlan.

Ms. Leilani Vili, 19, was born in Samoa, and graduated in 2015 from Nuuuli Voc Tech. An Education major, Ms. Vili’s long term goal is to become a teacher. This semester has seen her inducted into the ASCC Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and she has also done volunteer work with the Alliance for Strengthening Families and the Department of Treasury.

Another Nuuuli Voc Tech graduate, Jason Tufele, 24, was born in Nauru and carries dual Nauru/Samoa citizenship. Having never qualified for federal financial assistance, Jason along with the rest of his siblings have always worked to finance their education. Today, three of his older siblings have jobs with the Department of Education, but Jason has developed a strong interest in Agriculture, and hopes to someday work at the ASCC Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources department and assist American Samoa’s farmers with their crops. Jason has also spent two years in the Philippines while on a mission for his church.

James Scanlan, 19, is a US citizen born in Honolulu. He graduated from Kanana Fou High School last year, and has a diverse record of community service. He has been a timekeeper and demonstrator at track and field events, an assistant instructor for Judo and Kaja Kenpo martial arts classes, and an assistant coach for a minor league baseball team. He also participated in service learning projects during his time in JROTC at Kanana Fou.

John Scanlan is the twin brother of James, and also graduated from Kanana Fou last year. Pursuing a Liberal Arts major at ASCC, he admits he was “unprepared” at first for College life, but as he got the hang of it, he went from one “A” grade in his first semester to three “A” grades in his second.

ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i congratulated this semester’s In-House Scholarship recipients and wished them success in achieving their goals. “Our main mission is to serve the students of our Territory, “ she said, “but we are also proud to be an educational resource for our Pacific region and we offer what help we can to students who don’t have the same financial assistance advantages as those born locally or in the United States.”

Both of the scholarships do not involve an actual cash award, but rather, is the amount deducted from each recipient’s overall costs of tuition, fees, and other expenses. ASCC awards its In-House Scholarships on a per- semester basis every spring and fall.

For more information on the College’s In-House Scholarships, contact the Division of Student Services by calling ASCC at 699-9155, extension 376.