In 2019, Roki was an 8-year-old that was attending Koror Elementary School; an avid baseball player, singer, and all-around active young kid. When the school year ended, Roki moved to Taiwan to live with his grandmother, Ambassador Dilmei L. Olkeriil, Palau’s Ambassador to the Republic of China (R.O.C), Taiwan.  He began third grade in Shi-dong Elementary School, a public school within walking distance from the Palau Embassy.  Since then, Roki has excelled in his studies, speaking Mandarin and active in all school activities, especially sports. 

This year, due to the pandemic, he had an opportunity to watch a live streaming of the graduation ceremony of his cousin Ayana Rengiil.  Watching all the awards Ayana received during her graduation inspired this active young man.  Ms. Ayana Rengiil, graduated Summa Cum Laude in electrical engineering from Alabama Agriculture & Mechanical University.  Ayana is the daughter of Ernestine Rengiil, Palau’s Attorney General. 

After watching his cousin’s graduation, Roki also learned that Ayana was on a fully paid tennis scholarship from the University. He became determined to do as Ayana did. Upon looking up what Suma Cum Laude meant, it inspired him even more. He told his grandmother that night that he wanted to go to a University in the United States on a scholarship just like Ayana but for baseball. 

So just like in 2019, Roki decided to change schools to attend one with a with baseball team.  After some search, Ambassador Olkeriil found Fulin Elementary school, a public school that has a very good baseball program. The school is located in the Shilin District which close to the Palau Embassy and Shin Kong Hospital. Ambassador Olkeriil immediately enrolled her grandson into Fulin Elementary School and signed him up for their baseball training program. 

After completing his fourth-grade year at Shi-dong Elementary School, Roki started baseball training camp at Fulin this summer.  The training camp has a rigorous daily training schedule that starts at 2pm until 6 pm, rain or shine.  The baseball field is made of astro-turf, so no one gets dirty.  Roki is committed and disciplined.  His grandmother and his cousin Umiich are there to support him throughout the camp.  His cousin Umiich has been documenting this training through pictures and video.

Here’s to you Roki! Keep going!  We are all rooting for you!  Roki is the son of Ambassador Olkeriil’s daughter, Kristy Olkeriil, who had just recently graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the San Diego State University program at Palau Community College. There is no doubt she too is an inspiration for her son, Roki, to work hard to reach his dreams. 

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