Governor appoints Maryann Borja-Arriola as OVR chief

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios recently appointed Maryann Borja-Arriola to serve as director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Prior to this new position, Borja-Arriola served as a grants specialist under the Office of Grants Management and State Clearinghouse or OGM-SC where she led several grant projects that include the $3.2 million award for the CNMI Veterans Cemetery, as well as several youth initiatives including the San Vicente Park project and the revitalization of the Koblerville Youth Center.

Maryann Borja Arriola

Through OGM-SC, she was also instrumental in the coordination of the CNMI’s first Disability Sports Festival with the Office of the Governor, the Lady Diann Torres Foundation, NMI Developmental Disabilities Council, the Center for Living Independently, Voices of the CNMI, the Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc., Northern Marianas College-University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation-Division of Public Health Services-Maternal & Child Health Bureau, Ayuda Network, the Community Guidance Center, the Office of Youth Affairs, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the National Family Caregiver Support Program, the Saipan Mayor’s Office, the Saipan Rotary Club, and the Public School System.

“Maryann has played a vital role through the grants office as an advocate for education, the CNMI youth, and individuals with disabilities. She has led several large grant projects that benefit the community in the villages and has extensive experience as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Lt. Governor Palacios and I are confident that she will demonstrate the leadership needed for this role as we move forward,” Governor Torres said.

Borja-Arriola formerly served as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. She provided prompt and equitable handling of referrals and applications and assisted in the development of the Individualized Plan for Employment with consumers by sharing vocational information, including labor market conditions and resources for employment for both public and private sectors, comparable programs and benefits, service providers, vendors, and training facilities.

Teturning to OVR, her goal is to work with the employees at OVR to continue serving the needs of individuals in applying for, obtaining and maintaining employment, while addressing barriers.

“The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation exists to provide information and services needed to improve an individual’s ability to become independent, productive, and employed. The mission of OVR is to increase employment and promote independence among eligible individuals with disabilities throughout the CNMI. I thank Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios for the opportunity to lead in the promotion of this important mission for our community,” she said.

Borja-Arriola is a former planner for the Commonwealth Zoning Board and a teacher Garapan Elementary School.

She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Argosy University in Honolulu, Hawaii.