CNMI youth take over government, private sector, and non-profit organizations

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:

Bubba Gump


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


KKMP Radio

Tribe Marianas

Triple J

The Shack Saipan

NMI Settlement Fund

Marianas Medical Center


Micronesian Legal Services Corporation

500 Sails


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

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