Marianas Variety

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    Sunday, December 8, 2019-11:42:28P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Rob Deleon Guerrero, magna cum laude

NORTHERN Marianas College graduated 162 very special students on Saturday.

Robert Lawrence Deleon Guerrero stands among his parents and three brothers after receiving his liberal arts associate’s degree from NMC in 2011. Contributed photoRobert Lawrence Deleon Guerrero stands among his parents and three brothers after receiving his liberal arts associate’s degree from NMC in 2011. Contributed photoOne of the brightest gems in the NMC treasure box was Robert Lawrence Deleon Guerrero who earned his second degree magna cum laude in natural resource management.

Seeds of success

Deleon Guerrero’s parents may have spaced out the birth of their four sons by four, six and eight years but their message was timeless, “Education is important for security and will help make you a man.”

Furthermore, his two oldest brothers plowed the road at NMC by attaining degrees in education and liberal arts.

My brothers are my role models … Sebastian is a second grade teacher at Garapan elementary school and Ray is a librarian at Joeten-Kiyu Public Library,” Deleon Guerrero explained proudly.

The young man who now holds two associate degrees (the first was in liberal arts) accomplished the task without saddling his family or himself with loan debt.

“I went after many scholarships and did work-study part-time in NMC’s information technology department,” he stated.

Deleon Guerrero described the IT supervisor, Daisie Mae Camacho, as a second mother to him on campus.

“She always gave me advice on school and was another key person that guided me as I was working and taking classes at NMC,” stated Deleon Guerrero with appreciation.

“I’m really blessed to have so many people who want me to be successful and have helped me at every turn.”

What’s next?

Deleon Guerrero flies off on June 4 to South Carolina with NRM student Christina Tudela for a 12-week USDA Corridor summer internship program.

Field work will include cataloguing species and conditions as well as experiments within a defined area while being mentored by USDA staff and visiting college instructors.

Deleon Guerrero will earn a healthy $12 an hour to attain experience and fatten his resume.

“This is my second summer intern program and I’m really excited…I’ll be sharing a place with other interns from around the country and that should be fun,” explained Deleon Guerrero.

His first summer learning experience came during an undergraduate research and mentoring program at University of Hawaii-Manoa in 2011.

Deleon Guerrero worked intensely on his individual project that compared two invasive species for 10-weeks under the tutelage of a mentor.

At summer’s end the interns participated in a symposium where they had to present the results of their research.

“It was my first time doing scientific research…I didn’t really know what to do at first but my mentor taught me about field work and statistics that will really help me in this summer’s USDA program,” noted the 22-year-old focused dynamo.

As Deleon Guerrero looks past summer he is exploring a bachelor’s degree program in natural resource management at University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Ultimate aspiration

“I want to give back to the island … I love it here even with the hardships,” expressed Guerrero with tremendous enthusiasm.

He would love to work with controlling invasive species and assist in land restoration at his top choice: the local USDA field office.

When asked how he would describe NMC and how it prepared him to reach his goals, Deleon Guerrero did not miss beat.

“NMC is a tight-knit community, the classes are small and the instructors really take an interest in each student.”

He made a point of recognizing coordinator Alfredo De Torres as critical in reviving the natural resources program.

Deleon Guerrero also praised CREES for bringing knowledge and resources to NMC.

“My parents were right when they said ‘try NMC as a stepping-stone”…for such a small campus the learning is huge,” stated Deleon Guerrero once again acknowledging his good fortune.