Seven high schoolers from the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota will be headed to Washington D.C. this month to represent the Northern Mariana Islands at this year’s National 4-H Conference. The seven are Rownel Jody Coloma, Judy Bang, Rosabelle Surla, Jermaine Chloe Yalung, Kate Manglona, Ryan Nuera, and Remedio Dela Cruz.
Five of the seven recipients were able to secure a scholarship from New Mexico State University in collaboration with National Institute of Food and Agriculture, while the remaining two were selected through a competitive process by the Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services.
The National 4-H Conference gives youth an opportunity to travel to Washington D.C., network with other youth leaders from across the country, engage with federal agency staff and leaders, tour federal buildings, and learn more about 4-H.
Surla, a Marianas High School student, said that she is very grateful for this opportunity.
“I get to represent my community, the Northern Mariana Islands, in a place much larger than ours,” Surla said. “I am also excited to be able to share more memories with my fellow 4-H family.”
Yalung, a Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr./Sr. High School student, is excited to encounter the countless memories, viewpoints, and growth that will come as a result of this experience.
“Living in the CNMI has left me closed off from the workings of the world beyond my island home. By pursuing this opportunity, I am empowered to educate myself and grow immensely in both my personal and professional life,” Yalung said.
The Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services’ (NMC-CREES) Family, Community, and Youth Development and 4-H Marianas sent the first delegation of CNMI youth to the National 4-H Conference in 2019.
Youth who attended the N4-HC were able to interact with youth from across the US Mainland and other US Territories. They were also able to visit their congressional office and present to federal agencies on topics that are affecting the youth across the US.
At the conference, the students will be able to acquire practical knowledge and skills that reinforce the attitudes and motivation to give them a heightened sense of responsibility and capacity to connect as active members of their communities, country and world.
They will also be able to engage in educational activities to explore, practice, develop and master skills and knowledge in civic engagement, civic education and personal development.
Nuera, a student of Tinian Jr./Sr. High School, said that this opportunity will help him personally and professionally.
“I will use the knowledge that I learned from the conference and try to apply these skills that I newly learned in my everyday life and in my island and school settings,” Nuera said. “I will try to apply it to my everyday surroundings and will also try my best to teach it to the youth around me.”
Coloma, another recipient from Marianas High School, is honored to be able to represent the CNMI.
“I am excited to work alongside 4-Hers across the nation to further expand our civic engagement and share our thoughts on various topics to federal agencies on Capitol Hill,” Coloma said.
For more information or to join 4-H Marianas, contact Robert Suzuki, Jr. (Saipan) at (670) 237-6845, Joan Flores (Tinian) at (670) 433-9235, or Tonica Barcinas (Rota) at (670) 783-1802.