WPRFMC scholarship students return
[l-r] Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council member Christinna Lutu-Sanchez, Council scholarship recipient Valentine Vaeoso, Council member and new DMWR director Va’amua Henry Sesepasara with another Council scholarship recipient Faasalafa Kitiona — all from American Samoa — Wednesday in Honolulu.
Vaeoso and Kitiona are recipients of the US Pacific Territories Fishery Capacity Building Scholarship, a program spearheaded by the Council.
“These two students will be graduating this spring, and as part of their scholarship requirements, they will be working for two to three years at the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources,” Council spokesperson Sylvia Spalding said from Honolulu yesterday morning.
The students are attending University of Hawaii at Hilo, pursuing degrees in marine science, and the Council flew them to Honolulu this week to meet with Va’amua to discuss their forthcoming employment. The students also attended the Council’s Fisheries Forum on Wednesday night.
At the final day yesterday of the three-day Council meeting in Honolulu, Va’amua told the gathering that he had a good meeting with the students on Wednesday night before they returned to Hilo yesterday morning for classes. Additionally, the students are very excited to return home after graduation.
“I am very excited to have these students come back home and work for DMWR,” said Va’amua, who noted that quite often some of the students from American Samoa would further their education in Hawai’i or the U.S mainland and “when they graduate, they never return home. They find employment either on the mainland or Hawai’i.”
Va’amua thanked the Council for the opportunity given to the two students to further their education in the marine science field.