The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation moved last Jan. 31 to confirm the nomination of Kaelani Marie B. Demapan as member of the Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance board.
Demapan will serve the remaining two-year term of Ursula Lifoifoi-Aldan, who passed away in September last year.
Speaking before the SNILD Standing Committee on Judiciary & Governmental Operations, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang appealed for the confirmation of Demapan, an early intervention counselor at the Northern Marianas College. It was Apatang who nominated Demapan to the SHEFA board.
“Miss Demapan has an accomplished academic track that I sincerely believe has prepared her to offer and bring to the table new ideas about how SHEFA can continue to assist our college students and trade school students realize their ambition, pursuing their higher education and skills training,” Apatang said.
Apatang added that bringing Demapan’s experience as a college student to the SHEFA board would make current and future college students’ higher education journey less stressful and more productive as she knows what it takes to survive through college because she had lived that life.
“In a time when our island’s financial resources are limited, and the easiest option to control expenditures is to make cuts—cuts that potentially could affect students who are barely making ends meet—I am certain that Miss Demapan’s experience will help make those potential hurts or effect less of a burden on our students,” he added.
Backed by a throng of supporters, Demapan said that serving on the board would be her way of giving back to the same community that supported her entire educational journey, and added that she will serve three things: “an eye, an ear, and a lending hand.”
Demapan, herself a recipient of SHEFA and CNMI Scholarship funds, graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chaminade University in Honolulu and earned a master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Michigan.