The 2019-2020 Micronesia Challenge Young Champions are:  Shuri Chibana from the Republic of Palau who will be interning at the Micronesia Challenge Regional Office.  Berlando Hadley from Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia will be interning at the Conservation Society of Pohnpei.  David Aiseia from the Republic of Marshall Islands will be interning at the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority.   William Naden II from Guam will be interning at the University of Guam Sea Grant Program.

Pheona David from the Northern Mariana Islands will be interning at the Office of Planning and Development, CNMI Office of the Governor.

This year’s internship program supports five interns, each representing one of the five MC island jurisdictions of Republic of Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. This brings the total number of interns to 43! Since the first MC Young Champion in 2009 ten years ago, this Internship Program continues to allow college students and recent college graduates based in the islands of the Micronesia to be mentored by influential grassroots conservation leaders.

During their 8-month internship, the MC Young Champions will focus on achieving the goals and outcomes outlined in the Micronesia Challenge Communications Plan, designing outreach materials and participating in outreach events and delivering presentations.

This year, selected MC Young Champions will have the opportunity to communicate the successes of the Micronesia Challenge in their home islands and at various high-level events in 2020, a significant year for conservation in Micronesia and throughout the world. MC Young Champion’s will be equipped with the tools to produce short films that highlight each jurisdictions effort’s regarding marine and terrestrial conservation and its socio-economic implications to people’s livelihoods. Through the platform of the Micronesia Challenge, select films will be viewed by a global audience, whereby interns can proudly demonstrate the conservation efforts of large ocean states of Micronesia and set an excellent example to the future generations of their islands.

The MCYC Program is an opportunity for interns to engage and learn about conservation in a professional setting while contributing to efforts to preserve natural resources within their home island. Community members, non-profit organizations and government agencies that contribute to the Micronesia Challenge, a globally recognized initiative, provides a unique mentorship for the interns to be part of a local yet global experience.