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...]

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...]

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...]

SHIP-HOOPS for Chuukese youth

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Project: SHIP - HOOPS Type: Nonprofit Location: Chuuk, FSM URL: www.ship-hoops.org This is a project that is near and dear to my heart as it supports the SHIP-HOOPS non-profit organization that was co-founded and led by the late Keitani Graham. Kei, as he was fondly called, a former student of mine and friend and inspiration to so many Chuukese youth was tragically taken from this world in December, 2012, not long after returning from wrestling in the London Olympics representing the FSM. … [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...]

Happiness Takes… Practice?

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The following is a reflection that someone recently shared on FB. I think it's worth re-posting here as it serves as a good reminder to us all that happiness is not something that magically happens to us.  According to Cindy Holbrook, happiness happens to people who practice in their lives these 21 habits. Twenty plus one. That's it? Or that many? Can we boil these habits down to one underlying habit? Happiness is knowing that my family is OK. 21 Habits of Happy People By Cindy … [Read more...]

Northwest Educators Set 10 Regional Priorities

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFDW7z8qMoI I've just returned from a week at Xavier High School in Chuuk, site of my first teaching years, to co-facilitate the Northwest Educators Summer Training (NEST) for over 70 public school teachers and principals and leaders from the poor and geographically remote Northwest Unified Schools. While the NEST was funded largely by the Chuuk State Department of Education (CDOE), this first-ever community led regional training was the first in Chuuk that was … [Read more...]