By: L.N. Reklai
April 13, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Six top high school students from Guam, chosen among the best Upward Bound students, visited Palau this week as part of TRIO program, marking the 25th year anniversary of the program sending their best students to Palau.
The students were accompanied by Mr. Yoich Rengiil, the program director from the University of Guam and program staff.
The trip each year offers the students an educational experience in a different place and they’ve been coming to Palau each year for the past 25 years.
This trip offered a view into Palau’s government processes and its culture, among other things.
The students who are here for couple more days shared their individual experiences and impressions.
“There are differences between Palau and Guam. I see that the Palau traditions are still preserved and practiced. And I’ve never had one and one government experience before. The President hosted our lunch at his beach house!” expressed Jessica Shon, John F. Kennedy High School student.
“There’s no trash on the roads, no graffiti, and so green. Also when you go up north, there is nothing to block your view of the land,” noted Joshua Ulloa of Tiyan High School when asked of one thing that had left impression on him.
“We saw taro patches and how people are still using and preserving them. Also people still speak their own language. The culture here is alive,” added Julieann Cruz of Okkodo High School.
“I loved the experience at the Palau International Coral Reef Center and Dolphin Pacific and how the ocean and tradition are part of these,” expressed Ms. Kianna Cundiff of Southern High School.
Ms. Chairoleen Orichiro of Okkodo High School remarked on how developed tourism sites, especially the ocean tour sites.
The students all remarked on how open and accessible Palau’s political leaders were and that the culture of the island is alive and practiced.
“We are so honored that the President of this country met with us and all his staff and also hosted our lunch. It’s once in a lifetime experience.”
“We’ve also met with Senator Uduch Senior. We asked to meet her and she actually came to meet us.”
The students, the staff and Mr. Rengiil all expressed their appreciation to President Remengesau Jr., First Lady Debbie Remengesau for hosting their lunch at their home.
“It’s once in a lifetime experience and we hope this will not be the last time we can bring these student here through this program.”
TRIO is a 100% federal funded program with programs such as Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, Students Supports Services, Upward Bound Math and Science and Veteran Upward Bound. This trip marks the 25th anniversary of their annual educational trips to Palau. [/restrict]