May 02, 2006

The Kaselehlie Press

Colonia, YAP - The WED Scholarship Office at Yap State R&D (in collaboration with the Yap State Department of Education) is pleased to announce the awarding of the Gates Millennium Scholarship to SDA Senior Chandra Legdesog and YHS Senior Julian Tharngan.

The GMS is a merit-based post-secondary scholarship emblematic of demonstrated academic excellence and expressed potential of the applicants to impact their respective communities in a socially responsible manner. Julian and Chandra represent the second batch of GMS scholars from Yap following 2005-06 GMS awardee Erica Falmngar, currently a freshman at the University of Guam.

The significance of the GMS awarding is indisputable and appreciably raises the profile of our State's secondary school students on a national and international level. The recognition of our local scholars by renowned programs such as the Gates Foundation, while being long overdue, should serve as an incentive for the entire state to redouble its efforts in terms of the provision of enhanced counseling, educational and workforce development opportunities to our potential-laden youth.

The importance of the GMS in terms of the future prospects of these two outstanding students - and indeed the future of Yap State - cannot be overstated. A GMS award enables the academic and career aspirations of our students to come to fruition. As Yap strives for economic sustainability and a clearly defined political identity, students such as Julian and Chandra will be at the forefront occupying leadership roles. The insight and perspective these two will gain as students at Chaminade University will allow them to significantly contribute to the elevation of the general welfare of the Yapese people. The GMS serves as an oasis of hope for our island's students who now dare to dream...to aspire... to pursue off-island post-secondary education in quality schools (with the real hope that there is indeed a possibility of them actually receiving a scholarship the magnitude of the GMS).

With Chandra and Julian being awarded this year, this generation of Yapese students now have role models to whom they can aspire to emulate. In fact, the 2005-06 and 06-07 GMS awards represent a watershed in terms of post-secondary career and college prep in Yap. More and more of our students are beginning to formulate their college plans as early as elementary school (which is quite unprecedented) and are beginning to explore the world of opportunity now being revealed to them. The Scholarship office encourages all of our State's students to begin planning for college early by joining our College Prep/Gates Scholarship Club wherein career counseling and financial aid options will be delved into. Please contact Scholarship Coordinator/Counselor Keith Sieg or DOE Counselor Clara Giltineg for more information!

Special thanks to the Gates Foundation, whose awarding of the GMS is an inspiration for our island and shows our students that anything is possible! This year, the Scholarship office assisted in the completion and subsequent submission of 18 GMS applications (22-page applications inclusive of nominee, nominator and recommender components). The competition for the GMS scholarships is also the start of a process -the culmination of which will result in greater equity of opportunity, industry and effort. Applications for 2007-08 awarding will be available this upcoming October.