Hawaii students honored

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Education Minister Wilbur Heine (standing, left) joined the 10th annual Marshallese Education Day celebration in Honolulu late last month to recognize Marshallese honor roll students in Hawaii. Photo: Suzanne Chutaro.


The Honolulu-based Marshallese community celebrated the achievements of Marshallese students at the 10th Annual Marshallese Education Day (MED) event last Saturday at McCoy Pavilion.

Education Minister Wilbur Heine, who attended the event on behalf of President Hilda Heine, congratulated the 43 Marshallese students from various schools on Oahu for making it into their respective school’s honor roll. Minister Heine placed on their shoulders the task of continuing to be model representatives of their community and to inspire other Marshallese students attending school in Hawaii.

Despite the challenges you have faced with respect to learning in a different language and attending school in a different culture here you are,” said Heine. “The government of the Marshall Islands praises your achievement and thanks you for being model students representing our community.”

Along with Heine, the Director of Outreach for the University of Hawaii’s Center of Pacific Island Studies Dr. Mary Hattori offered keynote remarks at the event to encourage the honor students and attendants at Saturday’s event. Hattori, a native of Guam, centered her remarks on the analogy of traditional navigation or way-finding — a skill which Marshallese are renown for — to remind the students to always remember where they come from and hold strong to their culture as they look forward to achieve their future goals.

The annual Marshallese Education Day on Oahu has become a key event for educational institutions and service providers to target the Marshallese community. Saturday’s event attracted over 20 service providers who used the day to provide information from college programs, scholarships and opportunities to human rights services, health assistance programs.

In their message to the community, MED Co-Chairs Hemetlynn Alberttar and Catherine Murphy-Hardin commended the families for their continuous support for their children, which has translated to their success in school.

This year marked the program’s 10-year anniversary of recognizing Marshallese students who have maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Read more about this in the May 5, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.