As part of CNMI Youth Empowerment Awareness Month, leaders from around the CNMI mentored students from both public and private schools to experience careers in public service, entrepreneurship, and community service for CNMI Youth Takeover Day.
155 high school students, ranging from 9th to 12th grade, participated the day. Students ranged from Marianas High School, Mount Carmel School, Grace Christian Academy, Kagman High School, Saipan Southern High School, Tinian Jr./Sr. High School, and Marianas Baptist Academy.
86 mentors from around the community committed to CNMI Youth Takeover Day, which took place the whole day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.
Acting Governor Arnold I. Palacios said the day was a great opportunity for students and young people to take advantage of unique opportunities in a wide array of professions through mentorship by CNMI community leaders.
“My advice to our young people is to never back down from challenges. There are always going to be challenges in our lives, both personally and professionally. But it’s important that we prepare our students and young people to be the next generation of leadership. Solving challenges takes all of us—young and old. It’s important that our youth go out, get a college education, and give back to the community they love. As leaders, we will make sure they will be prepared to take on any challenge,” Palacios said.
Co-Press Secretary John E. Flora said in the meetings he attended with government officials, leaders in government and the private sector tackled issues that involved the well-being of the people of the CNMI.
“In the meetings today, we exchanged diverse opinions and emotions about key issues. Meeting with the Acting Governor, we had an opportunity to talk candidly about education and students. I felt as if I was a part of the job, mostly because the people were welcoming and treated us as if we were hired,” Flora said.
Co-Press Secretary Cathrine Nicole D. Roque said the day was exciting, informative, and rewarding.
“We got a chance to sit in on the Governor’s Strategic Economic Development Council. Some of the issues addressed were about the airport, building permits, and the CW issue. To me, the CW issue was one of the most important because it was something that the government and business leaders kept going back to. It is sensitive because it when it comes down to it, it is an economic and humanitarian issue, in which families and lives are affected. We also talked about education with the Acting Governor. As a student, this was something that I truly enjoyed talking about because I know that my concerns were heard. This day was an amazing experience, and it definitely felt like the youth was taking over for the day,” Roque said.
The CNMI Youth Empowerment Awareness Month Committee would like to thank the following for their support and mentorship:
Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
20th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature – House of Representatives
CNMI Superior Court
14th Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council
Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce – Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control Division
Department of Commerce – CNMI Small Business Development Center
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Arts Council
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Language Commission
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – LIHEAP
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Nutrition Assistance Program
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Division of Youth Services
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Historic Preservation Office
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs – Office on Aging
Department of Finance
Department of Labor
Department of Lands and Natural Resources
Department of Public Lands
Department of Public Safety
Department of Public Works
CNMI Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
CNMI Military Veterans Affairs Office
Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority
CNMI Scholarship Office
Marianas Visitors Authority
Office of Personnel Management
Northern Marianas College
Commonwealth Ports Authority
Commonwealth Utilities Corporation
Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation
Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation – Tinian Health Center
Private Sector/Non-Profit Organizations:
CNMI American Red Cross Chapter – Disaster Case Management
CNMI Women’s Association
DFS Saipan Limited
Great Harvest Bread Company
Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan
Lady Diann Torres Foundation
Lauren Benson Photography
The Shack Saipan
NMI Settlement Fund
Marianas Medical Center
Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
CNMI Youth Takeover Day Planning Committee Members:
Chair Kaelani Demapan, Northern Marianas College
Co-Chair Maxine Laszlo, Marianas Alliance of Non-Governmental Organizations
Shelane Borja, Office of Youth Affairs under the Office of the Governor
Melanie Sablan, Public School System