The Public School System is holding its Annual Youth Conference this week, beginning with the Middle School Youth Conference yesterday, from 8:30am to 2pm, at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall.
The High School Youth Conference will happen today from 8:30am to 2pm, also at the Hibiscus Hall.
In compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, guest numbers were limited and the conference’s breakout sessions took place in multiple spaces instead of all sessions taking place at the Hibiscus Hall. Pre-pandemic, the conference would have been a combined, one-day event happening around the beginning of the school year.
“We normally have this at the beginning of the school year, but because we had so many things going on with planning and trainings for virtual learning we had to move it toward the ending of the school year,” said Personal Responsibility Education Program director Melisha San Nicholas. “From here, [the conferences] should stir some motivation for [the students] to create their plans and timelines for the next school year.”
During the conferences’ breakout sessions, student leaders from their respective middle schools and high schools presented—with the guidance of participating community partners like the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Office of Planning and Development—their ideas and goals for the upcoming school year and other topics of interest. Some of the breakout topics include the Power of Worth and mental health, Digital Citizenship in the Age of Technology, and Positive Youth Development.
San Nicholas thanks her PREP colleagues for sponsoring and organizing the event and Project Haligi Aware for funding the conferences through grants.
“Learning doesn’t always have to be just in the classroom. They can learn from each other by going around, and this is one of the opportunities that [the students] will have,” said San Nicholas.