FSM Congressional Scholarship for Northwest Region

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The FSM Congress recently appropriated $20,000.00 to fund scholarships for students from the Northwest region of Chuuk State. This is by far the largest amount set aside to help students from the small and remote outer islands of Pattiw, Pafeng, and Namwonweito. But how do students from these islands apply for the scholarship? What's the selection criteria? Is there a deadline? I had a chance to meet briefly with Senator Otto during his recent trip to Hawaii with the FSM Congressional Chuuk … [Read more...]

Help Tracy Poch, an Aspiring Chuukese Olympian

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omHhHRbI8c8 The other day, I interviewed Tracy Kaleikehaulani Nakanelua Poch as part of the Pacific Students Media team's "What's Our Story?" project to combat negative stereotypes and misinformation about Pacific Islanders in Hawaii. Tracy has been in the news as the only Hawaiian to make it on the Junior USA Women's Rugby 7's Team to possibly compete in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Little news is made of her other dream to wrestle in the upcoming … [Read more...]

Kids Sharing Aloha Through Microlending

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As a parent and an educator, I was very excited to receive the news from Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School that my daughter, Keala, was selected to receive 3 awards at the school's End-of-the-Year celebration. One of these was the much coveted Legislative Award sponsored and presented by Hawaii State Senator Gil Kahele, a Kapiolani alum. This award is given to only one student per grade who exemplify the characteristics described on the certificate (see below).  And my little girl who just … [Read more...]

Honoring the Indigenous Hawaiians

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The 2014 World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WiPC:E) is being held this week at Kapi'olani Community College on Oahu. As a native Micronesian raising a family on Hawaii Island, I try to be mindful of my place as a visitor in this society. What has my own culture taught me on how to conduct myself when visiting another island in terms of honoring the hosts? How should we Micronesians live pono (Hawaiian for righteousness) or fairo (Chuukese for respectful living) as a way to … [Read more...]

A New Journey Begins

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I'm excited to be accepted into the doctoral program at the College of Education, University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Our orientation yesterday had a synergy likened to the buzz on my island in Chuuk when a new outrigger sailing canoe is launched on a maiden voyage. I felt blessed to have twenty five amazing pilooy (companions on a sea voyage) from different pathways with diverse experiences. We have all been paddling our individual canoes all over the world; somehow we were selected to be part of … [Read more...]

COFA Network Call for Unity

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Sadly, while the Obama Administration touts the success of the Affordable Care Act, things have gotten more complicated in health care for citizens of the Compact of Free Association (COFA) nations who are legally residing in the State of Hawaii. On April 1, 2014 (no April Fool) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the State of Hawaii on the Basic Health Hawaiʻi case (Korab vs. Fink). According to HealthyPacific.org, the court ruled that "Hawaiʻi is not constitutionally obligated … [Read more...]

PREL is hiring a consultant for Chuuk DOE…again?

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The education consultant who was hired in September to reside in Chuuk and guide the on-going implementation of the Chuuk Education Reform Plan (CERP) has quit. Unconfirmed reason: frustrations. His sudden departure is a setback in an already problematic and painfully slow implementation of the CERP. The stakeholders; namely, the Pacific Resources for Education & Learning (PREL), Department of Education (DOE), the Chuuk Board of Education (CBOE), the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), and more … [Read more...]

Teach for Micronesia – Survey

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Teach for Micronesia (TFM) is being developed as an independent, non-profit organization with the mission of ending education inequity in the Pacific Island nation of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Modeled after the highly successful Teach for America program, TFM aims to recruit college graduates from Micronesia and the United States to serve as paid teachers for two years and placed in high need public schools throughout Micronesia. Please help us take the quick online … [Read more...]

NY Jesuit Provincial’s Response Leaves More Questions Than Answers

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Fr. David Ciancimino, SJ, the New York Jesuit Provincial recently responded to our petition on change.org to keep Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ, in Micronesia where he has done so much work and continues to do so. His public response which is published on The Fourth Branch website leaves much to be desired. In fact, it seems to prove what the new Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis has condemned about the Jesuit Order and the Catholic Church's focus on "small minded rules" which the Pope says, is driving … [Read more...]

Petition to Keep Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ in Micronesia where he is Needed

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We have launched an online petition on change.org addressed to the leaders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Micronesia, New York Province, and the world on behalf of Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ.,  a Jesuit priest who has lived and faithfully served the people of Micronesia since 1963.  He has been a faithful priest, stellar educator, prolific author, respectful historian, inspirational mentor, and spiritual director to countless Micronesians. Yet, against his will and for no logical reason, Fr. … [Read more...]