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    Wednesday, November 21, 2018-10:36:19A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Mercilynn Palec will ‘live her dream’

MERCILYNN Kaneshi Palec is the sixth recipient of the Soroptimist of the Northern Mariana Islands’ Live Your Dream Award.

Through the annual award, the organization assists women who are breadwinners of their families by providing the resources these women need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.

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Mercilynn Kaneshi Palec is the NMI Soroptimist’s sixth “Live Your Dream” recipient.
Soroptimist NMI president Maureen Sabangiol and her successor, Donna Krum.  Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

As this year’s awardee, Palec received $3,000 at Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saturday.

Incoming Soroptimist International NMI chapter president Donna Krum said 14 women applied for this year’s “Living Your Dream” award.

She said she is glad the women judges, who are not members of the Soroptimist organization, selected Palec.

“I’ve known Mercilynn for several years. My company is involved with the Saipan Chamber of Commerce where she works as an administrator, and she is very also involved in the Saipan Young Professionals — she is just a true leader.”

Krum said Palec is currently pursuing a degree in education at  Northern Marianas College. “She is a student, a mother, a wife. She is doing everything all at once. She is just a perfect candidate for our award.”

The Soroptimist organization honors women who are doing their best to better themselves, she added.

“As we members of the Soroptimist organization like to say, ’If you educate a man, you’ve educated a man; if you educate a woman, you’ve educated a community.’ Mercilynn will pass  her education on to her children and her children’s children,” Krum said.

In an interview, Palec said she decided to continue her education as soon she returned to Saipan in 2015. She left the island in 2011 and lived on Guam and in Las Vegas where she was a stay-at-home mom.

“When I returned to Saipan, I needed to find a job really quickly. I decided that I wanted to continue school because that was something that I had put on the back burner for a while,” she said.

One of the things that motivated her to go back to school was her daughter. “I thought it was necessary to be a role model for my daughter. I can’t tell her to go to college when I myself did  not.”

Palec is in her senior year at NMC pursuing a degree in elementary education.

“I am thankful to the Soroptimist for giving me this award which I will use for our day-to-day necessities — bills and all that stuff. When you go to class thinking about all of those other things, it’s sometimes difficult to keep focused. But this award will relieve a lot of the stress I have been dealing with lately.”

Aside from receiving the award, Palec was inducted as the new member of the Soroptimist.

Palec said she became interested in the Soroptimist after she attended an event it hosted, showcasing the women candidates in this year’s elections.

“I was very moved by the event. I felt that I was among strong women, and I wanted to continue to be surrounded by such women,” she said.

“I encourage other women to take part and join this group. And I thank the Soroptimist for providing women with an outlet and opportunity to build themselves up and build confidence surrounded by other powerful women — this is a sorority of influential women.”