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Navigating Education: Bridging Gaps, Embracing Culture

As we usher in the new year of 2024, Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN) remains committed to addressing the pressing issues faced by Pacific Islander students in the realm of education. In our pursuit of creating a better future for the Pacific Islander community, we are excited to announce significant steps forward in our Navigating Education initiative.

Navigating Education (NE) at Bremerton High School is gearing up for its fourth academic year, and we are thrilled about the impact it has had so far. NE stands as a beacon of support, providing a safe space for students to openly express their culture, interests, and foster a deep sense of belonging within the academic environment.

We understand that there are persistent challenges contributing to the education disparity gaps among Pacific Islander students. It is crucial for us to acknowledge and address these issues head-on. Therefore, in our ongoing efforts to enhance Navigating Education, we are excited to welcome two new Education Navigators who will play a pivotal role in shaping the program's future.

Please join us in welcoming Leano Pese and Jon Metric, who bring a wealth of experience, passion, and commitment to the cause. Leano and Jon will contribute their unique perspectives and skills to further strengthen the impact of Navigating Education at Bremerton High School.

As we embark on this journey in 2024, our mission remains clear: to narrow the disparity gaps in education and empower Pacific Islander students to achieve their full potential. Through the Navigating Education program, we aim to provide the necessary tools, resources, and mentorship to guide students on their academic journey while celebrating their rich cultural heritage.

We invite you to stay connected with VOPIN to witness the positive transformations taking place within our community. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the educational landscape for Pacific Islander students.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to the Voices of Pacific Island Nations.



The VOPIN Team

Navigating Education: Bridging Gaps, Embracing Culture


Meet Leano Pese

Meet the vibrant Leano "Ano" Amata Pese, our new Education Navigator at Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN)! Hailing from the breathtaking Lauli’i, Masefau, and Manu’atele in American Samoa, Ano brings a world of cultural richness to our team. Armed with a Master of Arts in Educational Curriculum of Instructions, Ano is on a mission to witness the academic and professional triumphs of our students. Beyond her expertise in communication and computer skills, Ano's approachable demeanor and passion for empowerment make her a guiding force. When she's not shaping futures, Ano finds joy in dancing, singing, playing volleyball, and cherishing moments with family. With a flair for engaging Pacific Island students in the art of singing and dancing, Leano embodies a commitment to education, cultural preservation, and the holistic development of our Pacific Island community. Get ready to be inspired on this exciting educational journey with Ano at the helm!


Meet Jon Metric

Introducing the incredible Jon Metric, our seasoned Education Navigator at Voices of Pacific Island Nations (VOPIN)! With a remarkable journey spanning over 50 years, Jon is a multifaceted educator who has left his mark as a teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, and professional development leader across the globe—from the United States and Canada to the vibrant landscapes of China. His wealth of teaching experience covers a diverse range of age groups, from preschool to adult education.

Having navigated cross-cultural environments throughout his career, Jon brings invaluable insights into the challenges faced by young individuals adapting to new cultures. His expertise extends beyond academics, encompassing guidance in social, emotional, and psychological aspects of navigating life in a different cultural setting. Jon's passion for empowering young minds has led him to VOPIN, where he eagerly shares his wealth of experience with the vibrant youth of the Island Nations.

Outside the classroom, Jon finds joy in immersing himself in nature, delving into captivating reads, enjoying movies, and strumming tunes on his guitar. Get ready to embark on an educational journey filled with laughter, learning, and inspiration with Jon Metric as your guide!

Charting Cultural Heritage

During VOPIN's Wednesday after-school program, students expressed a strong desire to delve deeper into their rich cultural roots. Responding to their aspirations, Patrick Woo-Ching, affectionately known as "Uncle Pat," took center stage as a cultural guide. With an infectious enthusiasm, Uncle Pat embarked on a captivating journey through the history of navigation in the Pacific, unveiling the ingenious methods employed by ancient navigators who crafted sticks into accurate maps, navigating the vast ocean expanses long before the advent of GPS technology. As Uncle Pat's narrative unfolded, the students were not just learning about navigation; they were connecting with a legacy that resonated with their own cultural heritage, fostering a sense of pride and identity within the Navigating Education community.