HONOLULU, Hawaii-PREL announced yesterday the names of the five winners of the 2012-2013 Pacific Teacher Scholarship, awarded annually to accomplished students who are currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university and who are residents of the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands.
The scholarship is a competitive process; eligibility criteria include an intention to teach at a school in a U.S.-affiliated Pacific island and a good academic record with a minimum GPA of 2.5. PREL reviews all of the applications, personal statements, transcripts of grades, and letters of recommendation to reach their final decision.
The 2012-2013 scholarship winners are:
MELDIE JOY CABALES, GUAM: Cabales graduated from George Washington High School in Guam in 2010. She is currently majoring in early childhood education as a full-time student at Guam Community College. Cabales is dedicated to her career goal of becoming an elementary school teacher, with dreams of teaching in the primary grades at Carbullido Elementary School-the school she attended as a child.
RACHEL DUENAS, GUAM: Duenas was a full-time stay-at-home mom for 17 years and worked in daycare before deciding that her heart is set on teaching. She is currently enrolled as a senior at the University of Guam, pursuing her bachelor's degree in elementary education. Her long-term goal is to work at the elementary public school system in Guam and obtain a certificate in special education.
OMAR FAUSTINO, PALAU: Faustino is currently enrolled as a full-time student at Palau Community College, where he is pursuing his associate degree in education. He also works full-time as a fifth grade teacher at Melekeok Elementary School. He was motivated to go back to school after taking a special interest in teaching, hoping to not only become a better teacher, but to also make a difference in his village, Melekeok.
RHONDA JOHNNY, POHNPEI, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: Johnny is from a small geographically remote village called Temwen on Pohnnpei Island, but that didn't stop her from attending the College of Micronesia-FSM, National Campus, where she is currently pursuing her certificate in education. Her goal is to eventually enroll in the University of Guam/College of Micronesia's bachelor of arts program in elementary education. Johnny would like to return to her remote community of Temwen with the knowledge she has gained to teach lower grades at the elementary level.
CORY KUSTIN, POHNPEI, FSM: Kustin is currently working toward his associate degree in education at the College of Micronesia-FSM, National Campus in Pohnpei. He has been a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society since 2006, an outstanding student, and works part-time as a math, science, and technology tutor at the COM-FSM. Kustin's career goal is to be an elementary math and science teacher to share his knowledge and experience with the children of his community in Pohnpei.
PREL is proud to contribute to the educational goals of all of the 2012-2013 winners and wishes each of them great success. Check out PREL's Pacific Teacher Scholarship website or contact your local PREL office in January 2013 for the next year's application submission details.
If you are interested in donating to the effort, visit PREL's Pacific Teacher Scholarship website and click on Donate, or mail your donation to: The Pacific Teacher Scholarship Fund, PREL, 900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1300, Honolulu, HI 96813.
PREL is an independent, nonprofit corporation headquartered in Hawai'i, with offices in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap. (PREL)