Decyann Pete, a junior at Yap Catholic High School, earned a third place finish in the prestigious 2014 Maryknoll International Essay Contest.
The contest's theme centered on a quote of Pope Francis. Speaking to young people as "architects of the future," the Holy Father implored them to, "Have courage. Go forward. Make Noise."
Students worldwide were asked to write a letter to Pope addressing that topic. Over 7,000 high school students from around the globe submitted their works.
In her letter, Decyann wrote about her involvement with the Ocean One Choir, The First Friday Planning Team which helps plan youth events in churches throughout Yap, as well as "the Flying Proas," the YCHS traditional sailing team which won its first race at this year's Canoe Festival.
Decyann, a native of Satawal, attends Yap Catholic with the help of a Habele Scholarship.
Each year since 2012, students from two independent high schools on Yap have held a “Robo Day” exhibition. The fast paced event showcases the technical accomplishments of the student robotics teams for the People of Yap. These annual Robo Day competitions at the Colonia civic center last only a few hours but reflect the hard work of students and teachers throughout the entire school year.
Soon, students from a third school –Yap Public High School– may be joining in on “Robo Day” as well.
Vex robotics teams were established at the Yap SDA School and Yap Catholic High School in the fall of 2011. The US based charity “Habele” coordinated the donation of robotics kits from students from the robotics team at Chaminade College Preparatory High School in West Hills, California. The pan-Pacific partnership included materials, instructional videos, and peer-to-peer encouragement.
Working with support from the team at Chaminade, as well as the instruction from their own schools’ teachers, the student teams at SDA and YCHS have grown steadily ever since. Members design, build, and compete mechanically complex robots, learning important Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills in a hands-on fashion. Many of the students initially involved with the teams have since graduated and moved onto higher education in STEM fields, in large part due to their experiences with the Robo League.
With the second quarter of the school year well underway, first quarter report cards from Habele Tuition Scholarship winners have begun to arrive.
Habele's merit- and need-based scholarships allow students from the most isolated islands and villages of Micronesia (FSM) to attend prestigious independent schools in the district capitols. Recipient families provide Habele with report cards, photos, letters, and other indicators of their students' progress over the course of the school year.
Habele, the US charity serving students in Micronesia, is sending carving tools to culture teachers in the outlying islands of Yap State.
The blades, files, stones and brushes will help expert mentors provide hands on instruction to students safely. "This donation is important for two reasons," explained Habele volunteer Alex Sidles.
Habele charity equips student athletes with basketball jerseys in Yap.
A group of young men from the Neighboring Islands who live on Yap Proper are training to compete in that Micronesian State's Island League Basketball competition.
Their team, called "Weyei," emerged from the boys' participation in "Waa'gey," an after school mentoring program. That group uses traditional cultural skills to teach high students discipline, teamwork and identity.
The boys are to be coached by Waa'gey Director Larry Raigetal of Lamotrek, and former Peace Corps Volunteer Garrett Johnson. The athletes began with a multi-week fundraising effort to earn funds for team jerseys.
US-based Habele, a charity established by former Peace Corps Volunteers, heard about the team and offered to help. "The boys worked hard to raise money and buy jerseys. Habele has designed, ordered and purchased Jerseys, asking the young men to use the money they obtained to support other local civic efforts on Yap," announced Habele volunteer and former Peace Corps Volunteer Scott Leis.
A dozen bright young island students are headed to top private schools across the central Pacific nation of Micronesia. Their tuition scholarships, awarded by the Habele charity, were announced during a small ceremony at the Micronesian Embassy in Washington DC earlier this week.
Among the winners was Griselda Muut of Yap. She will be a sophomore at Yap Catholic High School (YCHS) this fall. Giselda lives with her mother Mary Layan and younger sister Margo in the Village of Kaday, a part of Weloy Municipality. Their father is deceased. Mary is an engaged parent who describes her daughter’s school enthusiastically as “challenging” and “demanding.” Rev. Michael Corcoran, the Jesuit headmaster of YCHS, explains Griselda, “worked extremely hard and earned 1st honors for the last quarter of her freshman year.” Miss Mutt is also active in village and school based athletic programs, in addition to participating in her village’s traditional cultural dance ensemble.
The scholarships are privately funded and cover roughly three-fourths of tuition and fees at primary and secondary schools. More than 150 students from Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei States of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) applied, seeking to attend independent, mostly religiously affiliated, elementary and high schools in the State Capitals.
Habele needs your help in keeping our commitments to the ambitious students of Micronesia.
Since January, we’ve delivered dozens of boxes of books to students throughout Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei States. We’ve also provided specialized adze blades to master carvers in the Waa’gey canoe carving mentor program. And we’ve partnered with schools in Yap to orchestrate our third annual high school robotics competition and our first statewide sports competition.
Now we are looking toward August 1st, when Habele announces its 2014-2015 Student Scholarships – and we need your help!
These scholarships offer students from remote islands and low-income families equal access to the quality instruction provided by Micronesia’s most effective independent schools.