18TH Youth Congress hosts 2023 Youth Congress Summit


Senate President Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero (D-Saipan) serves as one of the guest speakers at the 2023 Youth Congress Summit hosted by the 18th CNMI Youth Congress in the House of Representatives chamber yesterday. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

The 18th CNMI Youth Congress hosted yesterday the 2023 Youth Congress Summit, an event that was last held in 2016, in the House of Representatives chamber.

Youth senators Zenn Ichiro E. Tomokane of Marianas High School and Tamisha Lia D. Sablan of Kagman High School co-chaired this year’s summit, with 18th CNMI Youth Congress speaker YuriHana DLG. Sasamoto giving the opening remarks.

Senate President Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero (D-Saipan) was the first guest speaker, followed by Reps. Marissa R. Flores (Ind-Saipan) and Denita K. Yangetmai (D-Saipan). Rep. Julie A. Ogo (Ind-Rota) was scheduled as the guest speaker yesterday afternoon.

Tomokane said in a later interview that, because it is March, their summit centered around Women History Month and they invited female lawmakers.

Tomokane said they have student representatives gathered from each of CNMI high schools. “Each is working to prepare some bills, to introduce grant proposals and to really shows them what the Youth Congress is all about,” he said, adding that he is very happy with the turnout.

CNMI Youth Congress secretary/coordinator Luis John DLG Castro said that, by law, the Youth Congress is supposed to host the summit annually. The first summit started in 2002 and this is the first time since pre-COVID that it’s being held.

“It’s pretty significant that this event is being held in a milestone year for the Youth Congress,” he said. It’s been 25 years since the very first CNMI Youth Congress was convened.

Castro said over 30 representatives from different high schools, including from Tinian and Rota, participated in the summit. Many are school leaders, such as class presidents and officers.

“Everybody that is sitting around this table are the best and the brightest of their school communities. And what a better way for them to discuss issues with elected officials that represent them,” said Castro, who also previously served as speaker of the 4th CNMI Youth Congress and is a former member of the 21st House of Representatives.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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