The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has announced the fall 2021 recipients of its two “in-house” scholarships, the President’s Merit Scholarship and the Saili le Atamai Scholarship. All ASCC students may apply for these scholarships, including those who do not qualify for the federal financial aid which most students born in the Territory have access to. This semester, Ms. Patricia Tongol and Ms. Tulili Lavasi’i received the President’s Merit Scholarship, while the Saili le Atamai Scholarship has gone to Ms. Merenita Setu and Mr. Hans Paul Laban.
Criteria for the President’s Merit Scholarship include applicants being full-time students in the previous and current semester who maintain a grade point average of 3.60 or better, having completed 24 credits towards an Associates Degree at ASCC, and having completed the classes English 150, English 151 and Math 90. Recipient Ms. Patricia Tongol moved to American Samoa from the Philippines at age ten and went on to graduate from Fa’asao/Marist High School as a National Honor Student in 2018. She has set her goal as eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. At ASCC, she has maintained a 3.8 average while working a part-time job at LD Construction to help cover her school costs.
Also receiving the President’s Merit Scholarship this semester is Ms. Tulili Lavasi’i who was born in American Samoa, graduated from Samoana High School in 2017, and now majors in Criminal Justice at ASCC. Her community service experience includes several years volunteering at the Feleti Barstow Library, where she enjoyed reading to children. She has also volunteered at her Seventh Day Adventist Church and done fundraising activities to benefit the Animal Shelter.
The Saili le Atamai Scholarship, sponsored by the ASCC Student Government Association (SGA) requires that applicants be full-time students in the previous and current semester with a grade point average of 3.0 or better, have completed 12 credits or more towards an Associates Degree or Certificate of Proficiency at ASCC, and have completed English 90 and Math 80. Born in the Independent State of Samoa, recipient Ms. Merenita Setu graduated from Tafuna High School in 2019 and while at the College has been an active member of both the Business Ambassadors of ASCC (BAOA) and the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. Now in her final semester at ASCC, Ms. Setu has enjoyed taking part in the community service activities of both BAOA and the PTK.
Mr. Hans Paul Laban, also awarded the Saili le Atamai Scholarship, was born in the Philippines, graduated from Fa’asao/Marist High School in 2020, and at ASCC pursues studies in his area of interest, Computer Technology. He has maintained a 3.79 grade point average while working part-time jobs in his chosen field. Mr. Laban has been involved with Youth for Christ, and finds inspiration in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.”
ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i commended the four scholarship recipients and encouraged any interested ASCC students to apply for the available assistance. “We here at ASCC know that some students face a challenge pursuing higher education,” she said, “sometimes because they cannot access financial aid, and sometimes because of other circumstances. If a student feels in need of additional resources to help them remain in the College, they should not hesitate to apply.” For more information on the in-house scholarships at ASCC, contact the Division of Student Services at 699-2722.