FSM and RMI students receive inaugural Dr. Joakim Peter Memorial Scholarships

Graduate Student Recipient:

Srue H. Wakuk

Kosrae High School

University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Master of Public Health, 1st Year

Undergraduate Student Recipient:

Pearlnalin Rilan Anien

Marshall Islands High School

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

Bachelor of Science (Biology); 3rd Year 

The Dr. Joakim Peter Memorial Scholarship founders and committee members are pleased to announce the first two recipients of the scholarship. Each of them will receive a $1,500 scholarship and be part of the A+JOJO Scholars Program to receive leadership development and mentoring support.

(Full bios, visit: http://www.ajojoscholars.org/scholars/)

BACKGROUND ON DR. JOAKIM “JOJO” PETER

The A+JOJO Memorial Scholarship Fund is named in honor of the late Joakim “Jojo” Peter, PhD (Education), who was an extraordinary friend, educator, scholar, organizer, and Micronesian community leader.  “Jojo was not only a champion of his Chuukese, Micronesian, and Oceania communities, he was a champion for civil rights and human dignity in Hawai‘i and beyond.  Jojo’s impact reaches from his home atoll of Ettal in Chuuk State, FSM to his later homes in Guam and Hawai‘i, to across the Pacific and the continental United States,” shared his friend and “sister” Innocenta Sound-Kikku, a Community Navigator at Kokua Kalihi Valley health center. 

(For more biographical information: http://www.ajojoscholars.org/dr-joakim-peter/ )

THE A+JOJO SCHOLARS PROGRAM

The A+JOJO Scholars program was initiated by a group of Jojo’s friends to continue his legacy of supporting young Micronesian students and future scholars.  Fellow Chuukese educator, colleague and longtime

friend Dr.Vidalino Raatior, Program Specialist, College of Professional & Global Education at San Jose State University, stated, “In Chuukese, “Achocho” means resiliency, courage, persistence, or hard work, so we felt that establishing the A+JOJO Scholars Program funded by this scholarship was a fitting tribute to our friend who embodied resiliency and pushed all of us to strive for excellence.” 

The A+JOJO Scholars program sought candidates who would “exemplify the life and values of Dr. Joakim Peter in resiliency, hard work, leadership, dedication to social justice, and commitment to advocating for the well-being of the COFA community.”  The selection committee reviewed 17 applications from high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students, from the Pacific and the continental U.S. Selection committee member and co-founder Dina Shek, Director, Medical-Legal Partnership for Children in Hawaii and faculty at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law said, “The field of candidates represented excellence from across the Compact nations of the Federal States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. We were so impressed by these emerging leaders in the COFA communities both in their home islands and in the diaspora.”

Another co-founder and committee member, Dr. Mary Perez Hattori, Scholarship Program Specialist at the East-West Center and Affiliate Graduate Faculty, University of Hawai’I at Manoa, shared, “We were thrilled with the two inaugural scholars, and it’s exciting to see the high level of academic achievement of our Micronesian students.”  The two scholars hail from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and are already contributing greatly to their communities.

(For more info on the scholarship: http://www.ajojoscholars.org/the-scholarship/ )

ABOUT THE A+JOJO SCHOLARS

 

Ms. Srue Wakuk is pursuing a Master of Public Health degree and currently works to promote community health through an internship at the UH Cancer Center.  A graduate of Kosrae High School, Ms. Wakuk wrote, “I want to pass on his [Dr. Joakim Peter] legacy, by helping the Micronesian community in Oahu thrive. He fought for healthcare coverage for all Micronesians. He once told me that it was his intention to change how people see disability. He wants the world to look at him just like a normal human being regardless of his physical well-being. He paved the way for us today and people remember him with great dignity.”

Ms. Pearlnalin Rilan Anien is a graduate of Marshall Islands High School and currently a Junior at UH Hilo majoring in Biology.  She dreams of becoming a medical doctor to serve her community. Ms. Anien wrote, “Being an A+JOJO Scholar will open up more opportunities to expand my services to the community. I believe in hard work and perseverance. Without these two values, I would not have been where I am today…The fact that Dr Joakim Peter, a humble being from the small islands of Chuuk, made quite an impact on his family, himself and his country, inspires me to do the exact same. I want to create an everlasting impact on my country and others as well.”

Upon selecting these A+JOJO Scholars, committee member and co-founder Dr. Sheldon Riklon, Peter O. Kohler, M.D., Endowed Distinguished Professor in Health Disparities and an associate professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said, “These students represent the incredible drive and determination of so many of our Micronesian youth who seek to contribute to their home nations and adopted communities.  We were thrilled to receive so many exceptional applications, and we look forward to continuing this scholarship and developing the cohort of A+JOJO Scholars for many years to come.”

The Dr. Joakim Peter Memorial Scholarship welcomes donations through their fiscal sponsor, Micronesians United-Big Island (MU-BI) on their website (www.mu-bi.org) or online via the A+JOJO Scholars website (www.ajojoscholars.org).