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Pacific Islander event aims for unity, college success

Youth summit to be held at Salvatori Hall

Pacific Islanders throughout the region are welcome to attend a day of cultural empowerment and leadership development at USC on March 29.

The 3rd Annual Pacific Islander Youth Summit brings together middle, high school and college students and their families and friends for workshops, presentations and conversations to inspire community unity and college success.

Mary Ho, director of the Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS) of USC Student Affairs, which is co-sponsoring the daylong event, said the summit began in response to the significant underrepresentation of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders among college degree earners. Only 15 percent of this population hold a bachelor’s degree compared to 28 percent of the entire population, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

This year’s program has expanded beyond K-12 students to include current college students. In addition to cultural and leadership workshops, the event features a keynote address by Michelle Erai, professor of gender studies at UCLA, and Samoan singing by USC Thornton School of Music student Amelia “Hope” Thompson.

The summit is one of several outreach programs presented by PULE, a USC APASS initiative for “Promoting Unity, Liberation and Education” among the Pacific Islander community.

The free event, which begins at 10 a.m. at Salvatori Hall, includes lunch and is open to all.

To RSVP online, email

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Pacific Islander event aims for unity, college success

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