Why You Want to Invest in Souang
PROJECT SOUANG SCHOLARSHIP
I have ideas too radically optimistic that to share them might make me seem naïve. What I will share is that my creation is purposed with knowing God and worshiping God. The highest form of worship is service. Service never stops.
I am happiest when I dream about the future and imagine the designs I can create for a better tomorrow for humanity. These dreams are not static. I’m living my dream. I’m serving humanity by teaching and learning simultaneously.
When I was younger I learned how to wish upon a star. I would come up with a whole list of things that I would love to have. To own a pair of sport shoes. To own a Walkman. To own a pair of inline skates. A meteor would streak by and in a split second I put those desires aside and would silently mouth “I wish for peace on Earth”.
As a nine year old I thought that by sacrificing my wish for material things, God would reward my inaudible plea for peace upon humanity. I would eventually get my first pair of sport shoes, a Walkman, and inline skates. Those things have come and gone. I still didn’t get my wish for world peace.
It would be many years later when my understanding grew and experiences helped me realize that silently whispering at a falling piece of space rock would in no way grant me my wish. I have to take action. I have to act on my wish. I have to meet my wish half way.
I have begun a list of all the things I want to do in order to help advance humanity along the path that will lead to peace among the peoples of the world. I rapidly learned that the things I want to do are shared by many. I’m not alone. Collaboration, cooperation, and consultation quickly became part of my vocabulary and my daily routine. It took about three years of struggle and patience to become a novice at reading my reality. Learning how to identify patterns of expansion, consolidation, reflection, and planning in the multitudes of systems surrounding me further galvanized the integration of my actions into my reality.
So exciting is the prospect of Palau’s future and so few contemporaries to share it with! There must be others that share my enthusiasm about the future of our species and the future of Palau. Emphatically, there must be! I want to be excited with other Palauan youth and accompany them as they lift their gaze to see beyond the present circumstances in which we find our beautiful country.
“Education is the key to success” was the title of an essay I wrote once upon a time for an Education Awareness Week essay contest during my elementary school years. I’ll never forget how powerful that theme was. I want my people to be successful, therefore I must always seek to become more educated and must always accompany others on their educational journeys. I desire for those around me to exceed me in my limitations of vision, struggle, and steadfastness.2
I have learned so much by the way of hard knocks. For ten long years I have worked with tens of thousands of people and in each of their lives I have made a small impact. I have worked and paid my way through over 100 College Credits and have small loans that paid for a few more. I’m not done with my Bachelor of Science degree and I’m determined to finish it.
I essentially grew up in a lowland tropical rainforest. I love walking in the forest and the savannah. My favorite sport is melisebekl. When I stand in the forest alone with a compass around my neck, water bottle in one hand and machete in the other, you will undoubtedly always find a giant smile on my face. I feel very connected to my rainforest. It breathes life into our atmosphere in the form of oxygen and water vapor for clouds. It cradles birds and bugs. The rainforest holds our precious soil with its roots and filters the runoff before it enters the sea. In a sense, the rainforest is my family and I can see my prospective degree in Natural Resources through Oregon State University’s College of Forestry as my “key to success”.
On top of that I have a punch list of dreams which include helping to make the following exist: Palau Universal Address System, Palauan Spelling Bee, Palau Driving School, Bike Racks for Schools, Babeldaob Performing Arts Center, DIY Farm-Share, Lyft; Belau Ride Share, Palau Universal Recycling System, Ceramics Studio, All Age Center, and most of all founding Belau Montessori Academy, an elementary school where children learn with all their senses both in and out of the classroom. They will love school so much that they’ll wonder why there’s no homework. Life will be part of school and school will be part of life. They will experience integration of all the aspects of their lives. Their education will be wholesome; material, spiritual, Palauan, scientific, moral, and wonderful. How great is this!
How am I going to open a Montessori Academy without a Master’s Degree? I have a plan for that. Montessori Institute Northwest has a Masters program that certifies Montessori educators and graduates its students through Loyola University. After that? Yes there a plan for that too. Harvard University. I’ve been following their postgraduate programs and was slightly disappointed to see the last cohort enrolled for Doctor of Education to go by in 2013. However, that degree has been transitioned into a degree called Doctor of Philosophy in Education, which may just have to do. Having a Montessori Academy of our own will provide just the material I need for a dissertation; both environmental and educational.
When I look up at the sky I can identify a dozen Scientific, Palauan, American, Greek, and Roman constellations, stars, and celestial objects. But when a shooting star streaks across the night sky I give a little chuckle and whisper, barely audibly, “Peace on Earth” because I know that through my actions I’m meeting that wish half way.