Last Friday, March 24, seven students from the Northern Marianas College pledged to distinguish themselves through academic excellence by contributing to the community and the Commonwealth through various community service and leadership activities as members and officers of the Beta Lambda Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.
The PTK honor society welcomed seven new inductees to its ranks—Jarley Blanca, Jasmine Che, Russel Charles Javan, Andrea Elouise Loste, Sabrina Pangelinan, Christopher Wu, and Chelsea Lynn Yangirelfil.
“We are all very proud of the new inductees of the PTK Honor Society, which is a very prestigious group known internationally for the caliber of its members,” said NMC president Dr. Carmen Fernandez. “I look forward to hearing more about each of the inductees’ successes and achievements in the years to come.”
Gerard van Gils, who teaches social studies and career and technical education at Kagman High School, was nominated to be the group’s keynote speaker for the induction ceremony.
As a teacher, Van Gils initiated the Mentor for a Meal program as well as the Million Dollar Scholars club. He graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in Political Science and afterward regularly volunteered services with the Utah State Legislature. This past year, he was awarded the 2017 CNMI Teacher of the Year and 2016 Marianas Young Professional of the Year.
In his keynote address, Van Gils urged inductees to take risks and face challenges head on. He also spoke of the legend of Taga, and urged parents to support their children to reach their full potential.
Established by Missouri two-year college presidents in 1918, the PTK Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development thorough honors, leadership, and service programming.
Currently, PTK is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 2.5 million members and 1,275 chapters located in 50 United States and territories as well as Canada and Germany. (NMC)