Tasi to Table Inc., a program that seeks to instill the love of fishing and the sea among the youth while also allowing participants to earn high school credits, is branching out to Tinian and had its first program meeting at the Tinian Junior/Senior High School library last April 24.
According to an April 28 Tasi to Table newsletter, 16 student-members attended the launch of the pilot program, which also saw Walter Mendez, project manager for the Public School System’s Mental Health Team, and Jolly Cruz and Wayne Dawe of the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, as guest presenters.
Mendez’s presentation focused on overall mental wellness and the importance of dealing with stress and anxiety in a healthy way. “Hopefully I’ve given the kids some tools to manage their daily stresses both as students and also as teens,” said Mendez.
Cruz explained MINA’s vision, gave some examples of the work that MINA does, and presented on the extremely damaging effects that trash has on the environment and marine life, while Dawe conducted an exercise with the students, demonstrating how easily animals can get entangled and even killed by discarded fishing lines, plastic bags, and other trash.
JP Merza, a sophomore at Tinian Junior/Senior High School, said he joined TTT Tinian because he enjoys new experiences. “I like being adventurous and learning new things, and I don’t even know how to fish myself. I’m [looking forward] to learning from this club,” said Merza.
Anissa Dela Cruz, also a sophomore at Tinian Junior/Senior High School, said she joined TTT Tinian because of her peers’ love for fishing: “Ever since I was younger I was always surrounded by boys and how they loved to fish. It really caught my attention, and I want to learn and be a part of that,” said Dela Cruz.
The launch of TTT’s Tinian branch is made possible by the Tinian Mayor’s Office, the Department of Lands & Natural Resources, the CNMI Public School System, and funding from Tinian’s allocated tobacco tax funds.