Every year, the Department of the Interior awards full scholarships to four CNMI high school students to attend the Junior Statesmen of America Summer School program at prestigious universities. This summer, one Grace Christian Academy student and three Marianas High School students will be participating in the rigorous three-week summer program.
GCA’s Minna Ito and MHS’ Angel Mar Pamintuan, Mary Grace Tiglao, and Robert Jomar Malate were awarded full scholarships for the summer.
Malate, a sophomore, and Pamintuan, a junior, chose to attend the JSA Summer School at Princeton. Sophomore Ito will be attending the JSA’s Stanford Summer School, while Tiglao, a junior, chose to attend JSA’s Summer School at Georgetown.
Ito, who will be studying Speech and Political Communications, said she did not expect to receive the full ride.
“Given the number and the caliber of the applicants, I did not raise my hopes on being accepted or receiving the scholarship,” she sad. “I am very thankful that I was accepted to this prestigious program. It would not have happened without God, my family, friends, and teachers.”
Ito is looking forward to sharing the island culture with her summer school classmates.
“Educating others of this ‘rock in the Pacific’ is something I enjoy doing, and I will definitely seize the summer program as an opportunity to do so,” she explained. “Furthermore I am also excited to share my political views on several issues today, as my culture shaped my worldview in a way unique from those who live in mainland America.”
JSA Territory program director Ed Banayat told Saipan Tribune that a total of 28 students from U.S. territories and Freely Associated States are awarded scholarships every year.
“Courses vary from campus to campus but range from AP U.S. Government, Speech and Political Communication to Constitutional Law and International Relations,” he said.
According to the organization’s website, JSA’s goal is to educate students and train them to speak out. The summer program challenges students to “be the people” who are actively engaged in making their communities, states, and the world a better place.
The DOI scholarship has been in existence since 1991. Since it’s inception, 400 students from the CNMI have attended JSA Summer Programs.