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Marianas Variety: 44 high school students join Project PROA summer camp (July 26, 2017)

FORTY-FOUR high school students from Saipan, Tinian and Rota are participating in a week-long Northern Marianas College PROA summer camp program, which aims to strengthen their ties to their cultural heritage while improving their reading, writing and math skills.

According to Kaelani Demapan, Project PROA program coordinator, there are 17 students from Saipan, 12 from Rota and 15 from Tinian.

“All of the high school students — juniors and seniors — are from Saipan Southern High School, Marianas High School, and Kagman High School. The Tinian summer camp students are from Tinian Junior/Senior High School, and the Rota summer camp students are from Dr. Rita H. Inos Junior/Senior High School,” Demapan said.

Program director Hedwig Hofschneider said they want to help the participants successfully transition between high school and college.

“The goal of the summer camp is to prepare students to perform well on their English and math placement tests for college, as well as develop an appreciation for their heritage and culture,” he added.

He said PROA stands for Promotion, Retention, Opportunities and Advancement, and its mission is to increase the capacity of indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian students on Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

The program is funded by the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution under the U.S. Department of Education.

Demapan said the summer camp students will receive college and career assistance from the Project PROA staff and student navigators.

“We hope that by the end of the summer camp, our students will have a greater appreciation for their heritage and culture and also have a greater awareness of the importance of earning a college degree.”

The summer camp started on Monday, July 25, and will end on Friday, July 28.

Demapan said for the first two days, the students were engaged in cultural activities with 500 Sails in the morning. In the afternoon, they attended academic sessions on English and career exploration with NMC faculty instructor Jennifer Wilson.

On Wednesday and Thursday, students will engage in morning math sessions with Emmanuel Borja, and, in the afternoon, in cultural activities with 500 Sails.

Friday will provide an opportunity for all campers from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota to reflect on the week and conduct a cultural presentation, Demapan said.

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