A young Palauan woman, Ms. Amaya Ngirkelau. Amaya a.k.a as Ama, won a full 5-year scholarship to study at university in Taiwan. She is a daughter of Yaoch Amador and Michelle Ngirutang, has been given the opportunity by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to obtain the scholarship.
Born on September 22 1999, the 21 year old grew up in the States until she came to Palau for high school in 2014. Graduating Mindszenty High School in the year 2018, she went on to attend UH Manoa for college but soon came back saying, “I went to Hawaii but I wasn’t ready plus I couldn’t afford it.”
She went on to attend PCC whilst continuing to play volleyball. Through volleyball she met many people who pushed her to work hard and that’s what helped her towards applying for this scholarship. People like her coach, Hila Asanuma, who helped her in her application to Taiwan.
“My coaches and teammates have always pushed me to exceed my limits, not only on the court but off the court also” said Ms.Ngirkelau
She had played volleyball since she was in school and joined PVF ( Palau Volleyball Federation) as a junior national when she was 16 years old and has worked her way to now a senior national She is also currently working with PVF under MCCA as a coach for the kids volleyball camp.
Her goal is to complete her studies at university and come back home to Palau and work to give back to the community.
Ms. Ngirkelau would like to thank God for this opportunity and to her family for their support. She also expressed her gratitude to her coaches Kenny Reklai and Saki Naivana for training her and helping her grow as a player and for Hila Asanuma in helping her with her application. She would also like to thank her first and only partner, Litang Kelmal (volleyball teammate) , for growing alongside her.
She advises aspiring volleyball players to have a “positive mind, a good heart, and always push your limits. Hard work always pays off.”