Fellows meet with Alternative Education students


The inaugural class of Pacific Century Fellows Marianas Chapter Class of 2014 visited students of the CNMI Public School System Alternative Education Program on May 13.

The fellows are participating in a pilot program in collaboration with the Alternative Education Program as their first service project, which is focused on changing the odds for at-risk high school students.

“The Alternative Education Program structures are designed to provide students with supportive accountability. The program is successful, however, if the students were to build relationships with successful community stakeholders who are willing to invest their time to listen and take an interest in the lives of these phenomenally talented student, the supportive accountability fostered by the Alternative Education Program would extend beyond the classroom walls,” says one fellow, Bobby Cruz. 

Alternative Education Program director Felicia Brel shared that the program is in need of community mentors or positive role models outside of the classroom setting. Fellows will serve as support systems for the Alternative Education students. 

“While these youth are often viewed through the lens of likely future costs of our community, they also embody enormous unrealized potential and success. Our fellows hope to serve as a positive catalyst to mentor these young people,” says fellow, Alfreda Camacho.

Since 2010, the Alternative Education Program of the school district has been designed as intervention for at-risk learners. While the short-term goal of the program is to meet the needs of these students, it is about ensuring that these students successfully complete their high school education and are college- and career-ready.

The goal of this initial meeting is to break the ice and establish trust. “It was a privilege to be invited to their home which is how many of the students regard the Alternative Education building…it’s a safe space in which they feel valued and supported,” says another fellow, Leo Pangelinan.

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