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Embassy Apia funds Nofouta Mentoring Program
…empowering college students in pursuit of STEM and ICT Careers
July 31, 2023

Embassy Apia funds Nofouta Mentoring Program, empowering college students in pursuit of STEM and ICT Careers

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Group Photo – Participants, Teachers and Parents of the Nofouta Mentoring Program Cohort 1

Apia, Samoa, July 29 – The U.S. Embassy Apia congratulates the Nofouta Mentoring Program for a successful launch of their new program supporting STEAM education in Samoa.

Nofouta Mentoring Program is focused on advancing STEM education, science, and innovation among college students. With a special emphasis on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, the program provides comprehensive guidance and mentorship to empower students in making informed career decisions. Through partnerships and collaborations with experts and industry professionals, Nofouta Mentoring Program enables students to gain the necessary skills, experiences, and connections to thrive in the rapidly evolving world of technology. The Nofouta Mentoring Program is founded by Mr. Fualau Talatalaga Matau Matafeo, a U.S. Embassy Apia, Professional Fellows ICT Alumni.

The Director of the Nofouta Mentoring Program, Mr. Fualau Talatalaga Matau Matafeo noted that prioritizing STEM careers, with a specific focus on ICT in the cyber safety space, is crucial for maintaining a robust cybersecurity infrastructure. Investing in students, shaping educational pathways, and fostering collaborative initiatives will pave the way for a secure digital future for Samoa.

Group photo of people sitting at a conference table.
Nofouta Mentoring Program Cohort 1 – Students presented with Chromebooks and Mifi.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by the U.S. Small Grants Programs for our commitment to advancing STEM education and ICT careers. This partnership allows us to formulate and share our knowledge with students by providing not only academic education but also crucial guidance and mentorship in STEM and ICT.”

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Noriko Horiuchi highlighted that cybersecurity is an increasingly crucial field in today’s digital age, and investing in mentorship programs will undoubtedly provide valuable guidance and knowledge to young students.

“As part of our commitment to fostering educational advancement and equitable access to opportunities, the U.S. government recognizes the immense potential and growing demand for skilled professionals in the ICT field. In partnership with the Nofouta Mentoring Program, we are providing students with the necessary tools, resources, and mentorship to not only excel academically but also thrive in their future careers,” said Chargé Horiuchi.

Chargé Horiuchi also highlighted the growing demand for STEM focused careers and echoed the vital role of ICT in cyber security.

“By emphasizing the importance of STEM education and promoting ICT-related careers, the students will have the opportunity to engage with mentors who can provide practical insights, share real-world experiences, and offer career advice,” said Chargé Horiuchi.

The finale of the launch included a presentation by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Noriko Horiuchi to the students and participants of the Nofouta Mentoring program with each a Chromebook that will be used for the duration of the program.

The Nofouta Mentoring Program was granted a total of USD$15,000 under the U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Small Grants to provide valuable guidance and knowledge to the young students selected from Years 12 & 13. With the focus on advancing STEM education, science and innovation amongst college students but also provides guidance, coaching and mentoring to students as they begin to make decisions on their career choices in the ICT space.