$10K scholarship awarded to UOG student who aims to bridge island ties

$10K scholarship awarded to UOG student who aims to bridge island ties

$10K scholarship awarded to UOG student who aims to bridge island ties


UOG Admin and Sen. Barnes pose with Ivan Blanco for a photo at awarding of Rotary Club Scholarship.

The University of Guam announced Ivan Blanco, a junior in the School of Business and Public Administration, is this year’s Rotary Club of Tokyo-Atago Scholar. From left, Dr. Sharleen Santos Bamba, UOG Interim Senior Vice President and Provost; and Dr. Anita Borja Enriquez, UOG President; Blanco; Sen. Tina Muna Barnes, Vice Speaker; Dr. Lawrence Camacho, Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success; and Mark Duarte, Director of the UOG Financial Aid Office gather for a photo on November 7, 2023.

University of Guam junior Ivan Sablan Blanco is the new Rotary Club of Tokyo-Atago Scholar.

The scholarship comes with $10,000 toward the completion of his degree in Business Administration and is the latest support provided to a UOG student from the Rotary International District 2750 or clubs under its umbrella. Rotary International District 2750 covers Rotary clubs in Western Tokyo and Pacific Basin Group clubs including those in Guam, Saipan, and other parts of the Micronesia region.

“We are immensely grateful to Rotary International District 2750 for their continued support," said UOG President Anita Borja Enriquez. "These Rotarian scholarships provide assistance for students like Mr. Blanco to pursue career goals and also contribute to the development of the future professional workforce of Guam and the region.”

UOG aims to help its students afford college, in part by matching them with scholarship donors who look at the totality of a student’s character, President Enriquez added. 

During the interview phase, Blanco showed knowledge of the Micronesia region and the problems the region faces, said Dr. Sharleen Santos-Bamba, UOG Interim Senior Vice President and Provost.

Raised in Saipan, Blanco also highlights his heritage from Chuuk and Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. He is the namesake of his dad, a beloved Saipan lawmaker who passed away after a sudden illness at the age of 44 in 2021. Blanco juggles his job as a legislative policy advisor in Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes’ office and taking academic classes. He faces one more academic year before graduating.  

Vice Speaker Barnes mentioned Blanco’s role in helping coordinate the recent Association of Pacific Island Legislatures conference as an example of the scholarship awardee’s leadership skills.

Blanco expressed gratitude to his family, mentors, the Rotary Club of Tokyo-Atago, and Rotary International District 2750 in general, and for UOG’s support. He aspires to bridge gaps between the islands in the Micronesia region.

Over the years, Rotary International District 2750 and the Pacific Basin Group Friendship Scholarship have provided UOG students with significant financial aid.