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DOE & Scholarship Board award 26 off island scholarships to local grads

 9 out of the 26 local high school graduates who were presented their ASG scholarships

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Twenty-six local high school graduates are recipients of ASG scholarships to attend colleges and universities off island. And they were officially presented with the scholarships during two separate sessions at a brief ceremony held late last week at the Education Department Conference room in Utulei.  Parents of students were also in attendance.

Education director Dr. Ruth Matagi Tofiga and Scholarship Board chairman, Sen. Fai’ivae Iuli Godinet congratulated the students, and wished them the best on their next journey.

Matagi-Tofiga said yesterday that there was also discussion with parents and students in case they opt to start at the American Samoa Community College because of health concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

During the June 28th government COVID-19 task force meeting, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga raised concern over the safety of local students being exposed to the deadly virus — after coming from American Samoa where there are no confirmed cases.

He requested that Matagi-Tofiga discuss the issue with students going off island for colleges and let them know, as well as their parents, that there are options.

Matagi-Tofiga said they had done so already and will continue with such discussions with both students and parents.  (See Samoa News edition July 1st for details.)

ASG is currently working on a charter fight to Hawaii for these students and others.

This local Education Department (ASDOE) photo shows more than 20 of the 26 local high school graduates who were presented their ASG scholarships last week to attend college off island. These students opted to pose without protective masks. [photo: ASDOE]

The following students, major field of study and college/university that they were accepted in, according to the list provided by ASG:

• Baby-Serenalia M. Iona, Biology, Oregon State University

• Daryn K.T. Lauti, Environmental, Science Southern Oregon University

• Dorvida F.G. Fuiava, Civil Engineering, Air Force Academy Prep School

• Ellen Li, Nursing, University of Portland

• Emily K. Kennach, Biology, West Virginia University

• Erin P. Jessop, Civil Engineering, University of Southern California

• Eveline Suani, Chemical Engineering, University of California-Berkeley

• Finiana J. Finau, Health Science, Portland State University

• Jada L. Fepuleai, Exercise Science, Missouri Valley College

• Jane T.F. Pula, Environmental Science, Bowling Green St. University

• Jaylanni E. Vaoalii, Accounting, Chaminade University

• Luafataalae T. Voigt, Engineering, Walla Walla University

• Lynell Mareko, Chemistry, Washington State University

• Mavaeao F. Tili, Nursing, Washington State University

• Mei Ling Aga, Civil Engineering, University of Portland

• Merry Christmas Vaa, Accounting, St. Martin’ University

• Micha Faumuina, Environmental Science, Missouri Southern State University

• Michell Lo Computer Science Northeastern University-MA

• Molila’auifoga’a Salavea, Civil Structural Engineering, University of Portland

• Noelani H. Nomura, Civil Engineering, University of Portland

• Noelle Lei Sam, Mechanical Engineering, University of Portland

• Paul Cassens, Engineering, Oregon State University

• Talofa Fe’a, Environmental Studies, University of Rochester-NY

• Tuiolo F.A. Aumua, Environmental Science, Southern Oregon University

• Uelese Patu, Pre-Med, Amherst College

• Yasminna L. Sanchez, Marine Biology, University of California-San Diego