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A tremendous loss

Letters to Editor
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A FEW days ago, the CNMI experienced a tremendous loss of a humble and dedicated public servant.

As the administrator for the CNMI Scholarship Office since 2012, Rose Pangelinan Camacho was a true advocate for the advancement of college students throughout the Commonwealth.

It has been my sincere pleasure to work with Rose and to witness her passion for making college education accessible to all. As the CNMI WICHE Commissioner since 2013, I often met with Rose to discuss how to offer WICHE’s financial aid programs through the CNMI Scholarship Office. Rose was deeply involved in this effort and played a central role in maximizing our benefit from our WICHE membership. Through Rose’s work, CNMI students now have increased access to financial assistance at the undergraduate and graduate level. Notably, Rose guided me as I authored Senate Bill 20-08 — now Public Law 20-08, establishing the Professional Student Exchange Program which offers financial support to CNMI students seeking medical degrees.

Most recently, Rose and I worked together to provide much-needed information in support of a bill to establish a Behavioral Health Scholarship Program in the CNMI. This program would provide financial assistance to students seeking graduate degrees in behavioral and mental health fields. As this bill makes its way through the Senate, it appears that Rose’s work and advocacy continues even beyond her earthly life.

Rose understood the importance of her role. She made it a priority to ensure all CNMI students knew how the Scholarship Office can help them achieve their goals. Rose also did not hesitate to fight for the sustainability of the CNMI Scholarship Program amid natural disasters and poor economic conditions. Just in the last few weeks, Rose was in constant communication with the Senate, urging us not to touch the CNMI Scholarship Revolving Fund. Knowing full well what these funds meant for the CNMI’s future, she personally ensured that no scholarship earmark would be diverted away from our students. I hope all current and former CNMI Scholarship recipients understand that she cared about you deeply, even up to her final days.

On a personal level, I’ve known Rose to be an active community member full of character, energy, and great ideas. She was a loving wife and mother who put her family first, and I know for a fact she was a great listener, because in my own time of need, Rose was there to lend an ear.

Rose affected so many lives for the better through her hard work and commitment to higher education. She will be dearly missed. On behalf of the President and Members of the 21st CNMI Senate and the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education-CNMI, we extend our gratitude to Rose for her many contributions to the CNMI, and our deepest condolences to Rose’s husband, children, and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

 

JUDE U. HOFSCHNEIDER

Senate Vice President and Chairman of Fiscal Affairs Committee

21st CNMI Legislature

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