New DYS office in Kagman now open

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LIEUTENANT Gov. Arnold I. Palacios on Wednesday led the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the official opening of the new Division of Youth Services office in Kagman.

Joining him were the governor’s special policy advisor and Department of Community and Cultural Affairs acting Secretary Robert Hunter, DYS Administrator Vivian Sablan, Vice Speaker Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero, Board of Education Chairwoman Janice A. Tenorio and Education Commissioner Alfred B. Ada.

The Kagman Community Center, which was built in 2000, was designated in 2016 as the new office of the division, but it needed major repairs, Sablan said.

The rehabilitation of the community center was made possible by a $430,000 community development block grant provided to the youth services division through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp.

A $145,000 capital improvement project or CIP funding for the storm mitigation project also allowed DYS to buy a generator for the facility and install typhoon shutters in both buildings of the community center.

“Today marks a very special day,” Sablan said on Wednesday. “Today marks maybe just a few months shy from when this facility was first dedicated in the year 2000. Twenty years later, we are here showcasing the facility and again, officially opening it to the general community.”



Father Jesse Reyes, center, joins Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, fifth left, Vice Speaker Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero, fourth right, Division of Youth Services Administrator Vivian Sablan, third right, Board of Education Chairwoman Janice A. Tenorio, second right, IT&E general manager Rose Soledad, right,  Education Commissioner Alfred B. Ada, left and Indigenous Affairs chief Roman Tudela Jr., second left, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new DYS office at Kagman Community Center on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

She said in the weeks and months to come, DYS will launch an after-school program in partnership with the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, the Carolinian Affairs Office, the Indigenous Affairs Office, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources and the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Services.

Sablan said DYS is also working  with the Public School System and IT&E to upgrade the internet connection at the Kagman Community Center.

On behalf of the governor, Lt. Governor Palacios, for his part, congratulated DCCA officials and expressed appreciation to NMHC for “making sure that this project is done right.” He also thanked the CIP office for providing resources “to get this thing done.”

He added, “This is a beautiful facility.”

Palacios likewise acknowledged and thanked Vice Speaker Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero for his support and contributions to the Kagman community.

“I know him as a very active representative of Precinct 5,” the lt. governor added.

For his part, Deleon Guerrero acknowledged DCCA officials, DYS staff, IT&E and other members of the business community “for helping our community throughout the Marianas.”

He recalled that when he was first elected representative, he stood in front of the Kagman Community Center, looked around and asked himself, “What else is needed in this community?”

The first thing that came to his mind was a police detachment and so he was glad that the Department of Public Safety opened a police station in the area.

Then, he said he looked around again and noticed that the basketball court needed rehabilitation, “and so we did that.”

The vice speaker said he would  like to thank the Rotary Club of Saipan for its assistance in the rehabilitation of the basketball court and for the construction of Kagman Children’s Park.

Deleon Guerrero said he is so proud that the community center has been fully rehabilitated. “I want to express my appreciation to Vivian Sablan and Robert Hunter and all the DCCA staffers — I am very proud of you.”

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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