Good morning everyone,
In this week’s address, the Governor calls attention to the values that students in a recent Imagine Guam forum said were important to our community. The audio and video files are below:


The text follows:
Hafa Adai everyone!
This week, we celebrate the coming of a new year. It is an opportunity to start with a clean slate. We celebrate our achievements and deliberate on the lessons learned from the past year. Some of these experiences have made us stronger and wiser, and better prepared to take on new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. As we begin the new year, let us consider how we can do better.
We finished the year with the Imagine Guam student forums. Thirty students shared their thoughts and ideas of the values we must hold true to as we move forward.
Family, community, respect, self reliance, and a voice in our island’s destiny are what they feel are important values and priorities. They also want to see the culture thrive. They beat the drums of the beauty and individuality of the Chamorro culture against the homogeny of westernization.
Guam Adventist Academy student Ethan Hoffman had this to say: “Something I am really proud of from what I have seen in my short life is the progress Guam has made while still maintaining its identity. When I was a kid, we used to call Guam behind the times but now we’re really connected to the world and we still know who we are.”
It is amazing to hear their thoughts. I absolutely agree that family should be a priority. Family is the heart of any community, it is made stronger when our families have the education they need to be self reliant. And when family members are able to respect our man’amko and learn from them, then we as a community have the strength to lift our voice and make known how we are shaping our destiny.
Whether it is helping to perpetuate our language and culture, keeping our families healthy and safe, or helping our youth succeed, let us all resolve to listen and learn from one another and to build a Guam that we can all be proud to call home.
In the words of another student forum participant Tammy Leon Guerrero: “Often in history books Guam is mentioned in one paragraph. In 50 years, we can work on putting ourselves out there so we’re not just a four-letter word in a history book.”
What wise words those are.
Un dangkulu na si Yu’os ma’ase, yan mas magof na anu nuebu!

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