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    Tuesday, August 20, 2019-10:28:04P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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17th Youth Congress holds 1st session

THREE of the four members of the 17th Youth Congress held its organizational session in the House chamber on Saturday and elected 16-year-old Dawno Jade Manglona Agbayani as speaker.

In a statement, Agbayani said his mission is to ensure that “we are equally afforded the opportunity to attain greater knowledge to motivate a culture of learning and goal-oriented mindset.”

Agbayani represents Dr. Rita H. Inos Junior/High School on Rota.

“The mission for growth of knowledge also aims to educate all stakeholders about the adversities our youths are facing,” he said. “Identifying the issues and understanding the factors behind them can empower us as a community to see aid and to be strong advocates for our youth.”

Agbayani said the “youth should be provided with the environment that enables their ability to address crucial issues without confining barriers and the ridicule based on gender, race or cultural background.”

He said the youth “are extremely capable. I have witnessed many making an impact on our community as young people and continuing to do so into adulthood. Our youth are also driven. We all want the same thing: to be able to truly make a difference for ourselves, for the people we care about, and for our community as a whole.”

Elected Youth Congress vice speaker was 16-year-old Elijah Joshua Sy Pajarillaga of Grace Christian Academy.

The floor leader is 15-year-old Cielo Citlalli Long of Tinian Junior/High School. She wasn’t able to attend the session.

Three members of the 17th Youth Congress pose with Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro Castro,  Speaker Jonathan Blas  Attao, Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, Rep. Donald Manglona, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, Rep. Luis John Castro, Rep. Edwin Propst and Rep. Sheila Babauta in the House chamber on Saturday.  Photo by Emmanuel T. EredianoThree members of the 17th Youth Congress pose with Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro Castro, Speaker Jonathan Blas Attao, Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, Rep. Donald Manglona, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, Rep. Luis John Castro, Rep. Edwin Propst and Rep. Sheila Babauta in the House chamber on Saturday. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

The legislative secretary is 15-year old Shannea Mae J. Dino of Kagman High School.

Youth Congress clerk Aesha Sablan said only the schools represented by Agbayani, Pajarillaga, Long and Dino participated in the Youth Congress election.

2001 Youth Congress Speaker now Precinct 1 Rep. Luis John Castro said he was honored to be present at the inaugural session of the 17th Youth Congress.

“The feeling each of you feel at this moment is something I know too well,” he said as he remembered conducing a public hearing as Youth speaker on Rota in “the year you were born.”

“Mr. Speaker, welcome to the club,” Castro said. “The oath you’ve taken is a promise taken by every leader of our Commonwealth. Keep those words close to heart. The position you hold is important…. Work together to put [the] issues in the forefront and show your peers that your hearts are in the right place in fighting for what they feel strongly about. This is a great time to be a young mind,” Castro said noting that the CNMI has young officials, including the youngest governor in Commonwealth history.

“I urge all of you to think outside the box in finding solutions to the problems of today. Despite your age, you hold just as much power as we do. Use it to your best, but use it wisely,” Castro.

A youth senator from 2004 to 2005 and now Rota’s House member, Donald Manglona, said he has full confidence in the abilities of the youth senators.

House Minority Leader Edwin Propst, for his part, told the youth senators: “Your group represents some of the very best things [that characterize the] youth. We appreciate all that you’re doing.”