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ASCC awards in-house scholarships for Fall 2023


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) is announcing the fall 2023 recipients of its two “in-house” scholarships, the President’s Merit Scholarship and the Saili le Atamai Non-Pell 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. Easterlei O. Tuitasi and Ms. Leilani P. Togi have both received the President’s Merit Scholarship, while the Saili le Atamai Scholarship has gone to Ms. Eula A. Payos. The recipients will each receive a deduction of $500 from their ASCC tuition and fees.

Applicants for the President’s Merit Scholarship must be full-time students in the previous and current semesters and have maintained a grade point average of 3.60 or better. The need to have completed 24 credits towards an Associates Degree at ASCC, as well as the classes English 150, English 151 and Math 90.

President’s Merit Scholarship recipient Ms. Easterlei O. Tuitasi is a Fa’asao/Marist High School graduate who has recently been inducted into the prestigious Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Born and raised in American Samoa, Ms. Tuitasi aspires to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and pursue a career as a clinical psychologist. “My career vision is to work with American Samoa’s youth and to assist with local mental health programs,” she explained. She recently participated in a “Heart for Art” community service project in which original works of art were created for donation to the Christopher James Foeoletini Ledoux Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of drug and alcohol issues in American Samoa.

Also receiving the President’s Merit Scholarship this semester is Ms. Leilani P. Togi who was born in San Diego, CA. and is now pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology at ASCC. Ms. Togi recalled that her first career interest was in becoming a professional chef, but this changed when she studied Building Construction Technology for four years at Nuuuli Voc Tech, graduating as Salutatorian in 2022. She now intends to become a Civil Engineer, and hopes to improve American Samoa’s transportation system n the future. Aside from here school activities, Ms. Togi volunteers with Intersections, Inc., another non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of social issues, especially ones that affect youth. 

The Saili le Atamai Non-Pell 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 Philippines, Saili le Atamai Non-Pell Scholarship recipient Ms. Eula A. Payos graduated from Samoana High School in 2021 and is now pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Business at the College. Because she balances running her own small business with her school schedule, Ms. Payos does not have as extensive a background in community service as some of her peers, but her instructors have remarked on her exceptional skills as a student, and one community group she has been able to participate in both in high school and at ASCC is the International Student Organization (ISO), a club for students interested in learning about diversity and inclusion. “As a member and officer of the organization, Eula displayed great courage, creativity and teamwork,” wrote ISO advisor and ASCC Business instructor Maria Luardo in a recommendation letter for Ms. Payos.

ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i commended the three scholarship recipients and encouraged any interested ASCC students to apply for the available assistance. “Our students of international origin bring a welcome diversity to the College,” she reflected. “Over the years we’ve seen that many of them face a challenge going to college, 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 at ASCC, 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.