ASCC Grad Concludes Washington, DC Internship
August 10, 2016
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
American Samoa Community College (ASCC) spring 2016 graduate Liu Lino Lafaele has completed a fellowship for the International Leadership Foundation, during which he interned for eight weeks at the Washington, DC office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen. Lafaele was chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants consisting of sophomores, juniors or seniors in college, 30 of whom are selected each year by the Foundation for internships at federal agencies of the United States.
A resident of Afono, Lafaele’s parents are Lino Lafaele Sr. from Afono and Futiga, and Faalele Agaiava Lafaele from Fagasa, Nuuuli and Falealili, Samoa. He previously attended Samoana High School, where he served as Student Body President, and upon entering ASCC he joined the recently-formed Criminal Justice Club, becoming its first president. Having graduated from ASCC in the spring as a Criminal Justice major, with his DC summer internship now completed, he will enter the University of Nevada Las Vegas this fall to pursue a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy, concentrating in Law and Justice.
In addition to office organizational responsibilities, Liu said his work as an intern included researching several bills proposed by Congresswoman Aumua and others from lobbyists seeking her support. “I did a research on the PROMESA Bill, which was introduced to help the Territory of Puerto Rico,” Liu recalled. “I also researched the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and how it could affect hastening the process for American Samoans to become US citizens.”
Liu said that his time at ASCC helped prepare him for the challenges he would face as a Congressional intern. “The college broadened my view on how a democracy is controlled, managed and maintained,” he said. “Through the Criminal Justice Program, I was able to better understand all the significance branches of government.” He also credited the College’s Student Services Division for bringing to his attention the internship opportunity.
With his experience in Washington now behind him, Liu expressed a strong interest in at some point returning to public service. “Serving people is amazing because it really defines the character in you,” he reflected, “and equality and fairness for the people of American Samoa are my priority. We, the youth, need to have the will and passion to first understand then fight to straighten things up. There is always a way to impact social and political change and that is specifically to speak up. We need to be heard, because that is how we inspire others to unite and make change.”
With the perspective he gained in the nation’s capitol, Liu has put much thought into strategies that the young people of American Samoa might take to secure a successful future. “I recommend we look into the fields of healthcare and entrepreneurship,” he said. “More young people from American Samoa should study our healthcare system, because there needs to be more U.S certified nurses, technicians and doctors inside our hospitals. We should also look for potential investments within our environment. Nature shows us that with her by our side, we can make the impossible possible. It is strictly important to our current generation to focus now, before time ditches us.”
Communicating via email from Washington, DC, Congresswoman Amata expressed her best wishes for Liu as he pursues his goals. "Liu was a very good intern who reflected well on ASCC, and I would love to have other interns from ASCC," said Amata. ASCC students can access information on scholarships, internships and other study opportunities in the bi-monthly 411 Newsletter published by the Division of Student Services.