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Peer Tutoring

Strength & Leadership

Pacific Islander Army Sergeant Inspires Students in Navigating Education Program

Ali'ikai Sablan with Navigating Education students

Hey VOPIN Family!

We're excited to share the incredible journey of SSG. Ali'ikai Sablan, a Pacific Islander in the U.S. Army, who recently joined our Navigating Education program at VOPIN!

Ali'ikai's story is one of resilience and triumph, starting from his upbringing in the Eastside of Tacoma and West Seattle to getting kicked out from school. But within the Pacific Islander community, he found strength and unity, treating each other like family.

Despite hurdles, he graduated high school, while being a young dad, and worked tirelessly to support his family. At 21, he made the life-changing decision to join the military, finding stability and a supportive cushion for his journey into adulthood. 

Ali'ikai's advice to students? Graduate high school, pursue education, and consider the military as a pathway to diverse opportunities. He shared insights on helpful programs like March2Success, aiding individuals in improving their ASVAB scores.

As a recruiter, Ali'ikai shed light on the dynamic roles the military offers, allowing individuals to switch after their initial contract. His story is a beacon of hope, emphasizing the power of determination, education, and community support.

Join us in thanking Ali'ikai for sharing his inspiring experiences and motivating our Navigating Education students!