As the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) celebrated its Spring 2022 Commencement last week, one graduate, Mr. Pita Rapi Vaouli, received the additional honor of being chosen as a New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar by the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society. The scholarship will take the form of financial assistance for Mr. Vaouli as he continues with his academic career this fall at California State University in Los Angeles, where he plans to study Electrical Engineering.
Vaouli, 19, comes from Tafuna and is the son of Tune and Louisa Vaouli. Prior to attending ASCC, he graduated from Tafuna High School in 2020. Vaouli joined the ASCC Alpha Epsilon Mu chapter of the PTK in fall 2021, and for the spring 2022 semester served as the chapter’s President. Under his presidency, the ASCC PTK chapter organized donations to the Tonga Relief drive earlier this year, and also made donations of food and snacks to the doctors and nurses at LBJ Hospital during the Code Red lockdown. These activities took place while the ASCC campus was closed to most students, faculty, and staff. The PTK continued to meet regularly online to organize its community service projects and even participated in the virtual PTK Pacific Regional Convention.
“The PTK’s sustained involvement with the community could have only happened under the leadership of a President like Pita,” observed ASCC PTK head advisor Mr. Kuki Tuiasosopo. “He conferred regularly with the advisors while maintaining open communication with his PTK officers and members. PTK offers a chance to develop leadership skills and a positive attitude, and Pita is a great example of this. On behalf of my co-advisors, Dr. Ernie Seiuli and Mrs. Amete Moefiainu, I congratulate Pita for being selected as one of the recipients of this prestigious scholarship. We are all proud of our student members for not only maintaining their academic standing, but for being active in the regional and the national arena through participation in conventions, and, in Ptia’s case, being selected as a recipient of a PTK scholarship.”
Each semester, the student receiving the highest All-USA Academic Team application score in each state or territory served by the PTK is named either a New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar or a New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar. Students nominated for the Workforce Pathway have a stated intention of entering the workforce after completing a certificate or associate degree, while those such as Vaouli, nominated for the Transfer Pathway, plan to transfer to the four-year college after graduation. The program annually recognizes 104 Scholars. Each New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar receives special recognition at the Association of Community College Trustees Congress. Each New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar receives special recognition at the American Association of Community Colleges Convention.
The Phi Theta Kappa is the premier United States-based honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges such as ASCC and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Additional information on the PTK can be found at their website: ptk.org.