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Molokai Resident Among Pacific Century Fellows

Pacific Century Fellows News Release

Thirty-six men and women from around Hawaii have been selected for the 15th class of the Pacific Century Fellows program, including Molokai resident Noelani Yamashita. The program identifies, encourages and helps to develop and strengthen island leaders.

Modeled after the White House Fellows Program and founded in 1996 by former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the Pacific Century Fellows are chosen on the basis of written applications and personal interviews conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of judges. In evaluating the candidates, the committee considers educational background; current career responsibilities, noting any special achievements as well as the comments of superiors; involvement in community activities; communication skills; and strength of character. Chosen individuals have shown strong intellectual and leadership abilities in the early and mid-stages of their careers, and demonstrated the potential to make significant contributions to the community in the future.

The Pacific Century Fellows program will provide participants with direct contact with senior community, social, and government leaders. A goal of the program is to nurture relationships among individuals who are committed to exploring creative and constructive solutions to far-reaching challenges facing the state and nation. They will also interact with other emerging leaders in the Pacific through its working relationship with the East West Center and the alliance with the Marianas Chapter of the Pacific Century Fellows.

All the fellows selected this year are under the age of 44 years. Yamashita, 39, is executive director of nonprofit Ka Honua Momona International on Molokai. Former fellows from Molokai are Kimberly Mikami Svetin and Rob Stephenson.

The program will begin with a two-day retreat on Sept. 25-26, featuring a series of seminars and discussions, and participants will also have an opportunity to help plan their agenda and schedule for the upcoming year.   During the year, fellows will take part in at least one day-long program each month to investigate critical issues facing Hawaii in such areas as crime, education, environment, quality of life, the military and the economy.

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