After nearly two years in the making, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Division of Youth Services officially opened an office at the Kagman Community Center in Kagman last Wednesday.
Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was also attended by acting DCCA secretary Robert Hunter, who is also a special adviser to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres; DYS administrator Vivian Sablan, vice speaker Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero (R-Saipan), Board of Education chair Janice A. Tenorio, and Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada.
Sablan said that Oct. 14 marked a “special day” because it is a few months shy of the Kagman Community Center’s 20th anniversary. DYS’ Kagman Community Center office was supposed to open in March 2020 but it got pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sablan earlier said that DYS plans to have activities at the KCC from Monday to Friday once the facility is up and running and to also have services like the Nutrition Assistance Program under DCCA to make it accessible to the Kagman community. She added that they wanted to be able to provide different programs so that the Kagman community won’t have to travel so far to get assistance.
In upcoming weeks, DYS plans to launch an after-school program at the center, in partnership with the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, the Carolinian Affairs Office, the Indigenous Affairs Office, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources and, the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Services, Sablan said.
Palacios applauded DCCA officials and NMHC for “making sure that this project is done right.” He also thanked the Capital Improvement Project office for providing the funds for the new office.
Additionally, the community center was able to obtain a $430,000 community development block grant provided to DYS through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., and a $145,000 CIP fund for the storm mitigation project, which DYS will use to get a generator and install typhoon shutters.