American diplomat urges Savai'i students to "think big"

The United States Embassy of Samoa’s Chargé d'affaires, Jonathan Yoo, toured Savai’i last weekend where he told students at Vaiola College to “think big” and consider studying in the United States.

Vaiola College, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was Mr. Yoo’s first stop in his tour of the big island.

Photos from Mr. Yoo’s trip to U.S.-funded projects were published on the U.S. Embassy of Samoa’s social media accounts. 

“Jon Yoo encouraged Vaiola College students to think big, consider study abroad in the U.S. and imagine future careers in international relations and diplomacy,” an online statement made on Saturday said. 

Mr. Yoo also visited Sapapalii and met village mayor Seiuli Moeimanono Papalii.

His purpose in Sapapalii was to see the village’s “continuing hard work in restoring mangroves and more as part of a U.S.A.I.D. climate change project from 2013,” the Embassy said.

In addition to Vaiola, Mr. Yoo visited school administrators at Asaga Primary School and Amoa College, where he met Vice-Principal Letufuga Oeni.

“[It is] always a delight to share information and resources with our school partners,” Mr. Yoo said.

The Asaga Primary School was an initiative of the U.S. Government.

“[I] visited the U.S.-Government built Asaga Primary School to meet Principal Perosi Viliamu to present reading materials and games for the students,” Mr. Yoo said.

“[The] U.S. Embassy is committed to continuing our partnership. [The] Asaga community has taken great care and love for the new school!”

His last stop was in Manase where he was able to “observe the ongoing preservation of the coastline with a U.S. A.I.D.-funded seawall”. 

“Locals say an increase in cyclones and rising sea levels is a major concern,” he said.


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