IN early August, the 4-H Marianas concluded its annual 4-H Camp Maga’lahi on Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. The 4-H Camp Maga'lahi is a week-long day camp that teaches children about indigenous culture, agriculture, marine biology, and other topics. We had roughly 500 campers sign up this year, but we were only able to gather 340 participants, the highest turnout in the history of the camp.
Planning for the 4-H Camp Maga’lahi can be overwhelming, and we have already started planning for next year’s camp. We intend to expand the program to four weeks rather than two allowing us to accommodate more participants. It will also be more distinctive because campers will be allowed to choose programs they want to join. For example, if a camper is more interested in agriculture, they can attend only the agriculture week.
In my experience as a co-lead for the house of Gadao last summer, I was able to watch the campers progressively develop skills they never knew they had. I’ve watched campers go from being shy to being social and gaining leadership skills as they go. I had so much fun being a co-lead and was awarded the good character award known as the Magas Award and the Matua Award that’s given for outstanding leadership.
I have been in the 4-H Marianas Club for two years now and have participated in six clubs, such as the 4-H Camp Maga’lahi, the 4-H Teen Leaders Club, and others. Being in 4-H, I can work closely with people who are passionate and dedicated to serving the community and making a better place for the CNMI youth. As I continued to be more active in 4-H, I’ve developed a wide range of life skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, planning/organizing, production, and other marketable skills.
As a team lead, I was able to learn to be a more disciplined, responsible, and independent thinker when it came to tackling problems and challenges. I strongly encourage our youth to join 4-H Marianas because it is an excellent program for those seeking guidance in their personal and professional lives.
Marianas School Pride
In April 2022, the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers distributed $15,000 in Education Tax Credits and donated goods worth $3,000 to schools that participated in the Marianas Village Pride or MVP Campaign activities. This year, GCEA intends to elevate this year’s activities through the Marianas School Pride. This is a great opportunity for our public and private schools to be involved and give back to our community. Something as simple as painting a school curb gives you a sense of ownership and motivates you to keep it clean.
In the 4-H Marianas, our objective is to empower youth to be responsible, caring, and contributing leaders who make a positive difference in the world around them. We encourage our 4-Hers to give back and get involved in community projects. Through our partnership with GCEA, the Saipan 4-Hers painted the Gualo Rai bus stop as part of the Bus Stop Beautification through the MVP Campaign. In Rota, the Rota 4-Hers completed the Sinapalo Bus Stop as part of the Bus Stop Beautification as well.
Initiatives like this will give our youths a sense of ownership on and off campus. I highly recommend our youth get behind these initiatives. Not only do you get incentives, but you learn lifelong skills that no one can take from you. To our 4-H Ayuyus, 4-H Dolphins, 4-H Mantas, 4-H Knights, and our 4-Hers on Rota and Tinian, I highly encourage you to take the lead in these initiatives to make your campus a better place. Take ownership in leading and teaching our youth the importance of beautifying their respective campuses. I look forward to seeing all 4-Hers getting involved in GCEA’s Marianas School Pride for the betterment of our campus community. Together, We Can!
For more information, visit the GCEA at cnmieconomy.com/, on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy), or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org/.
During her 2021-2022 term, Amy Ryan Soliman was the 4-H Saipan Youth Council secretary and the 4-H Marianas productions lead director. Amy has been involved with the 4-H Marianas since she was a junior in high school because it is the only nonprofit organization that serves the youth on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Amy is currently a sophomore at Northern Marianas College where she is studying to be a social worker.