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Former MHS student graduates magna cum laude from Emerson College

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MARIANAS High School alumna Lee Ann Lustre Jastillana graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts last month.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Emerson College postponed the in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 until it is safe to do so.

Jastillana earned a degree in journalism with a minor in marketing communications.

“I chose journalism because I knew writing was my strong suit. I also was extremely in love with theatre and public speaking in high school. For me, journalism was the perfect way to marry the two,” Jastillana said in an email to Variety.

Though she did not know much about journalism, she came to appreciate the course when she was in college. “I was surrounded by people who were really passionate about it.”

Inspired by the character of Carrie Bradshaw in the HBO series “Sex and the City,” Jastillana said she wants to pursue a career in fashion journalism.

But because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jastillana’s post-graduation plans are on hold.

“For now, I am quarantining at home. My short-term plan is to land a job in the media this fall while also working as a freelance fashion and beauty journalist. In the long term, I would love to be an editor at a high-end fashion publication. I'm obsessed with the idea of creating my own magazine in the future,” said Jastillana, the salutatorian of MHS Class of 2016.

Jastillana has been a consistent honor student, her mother said.

Even though she was prepared for college, Jastillana said she encountered challenges during her freshman year.

“I had to adjust to my new environment, a new way of learning and experiencing school, and my new classmates and peers. I felt extremely out of place. No one knew where Saipan was, and everyone around me didn't look like me. The academic experience was also completely intimidating and different,” Jastillana said.

Eventually, she adjusted to her social environment and found a group of friends. “You don't need your Google Maps app to get around — you see familiar faces that make you feel like you're back home.”

For high school graduates who are about to embark on their college journey, Jastillana said she is willing to share academic advice.

“It can be extremely intimidating thinking about life after high school or college, but anyone who wants to reach out can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,” she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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