Two Micronesian women awarded the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship

July 27, 2021

Launched in 2017, the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge (BRMC) Scholarship was established to support

young Micronesians in obtaining post-secondary degrees in environment, conservation, and related

fields and to return home and support conservation efforts in the region, many of which, the late Bill

Raynor started during his time. To date, over 15 students have received scholarships from this program

with 100% of them returning to their home islands to work. This year, two more Micronesian women

were awarded the BRMC Scholarship to complete their Masters degrees, Ms. Alicia Edwards of the

Marshall Islands and Ms. Maybeleen Apwong of Pohnpei.

Ms. Alicia Edwards was born and raised in Majuro, Marshall Islands. She graduated in 2013 from the University of the South Pacific (Laucala Campus) in Fiji with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science. After graduation she returned home and began at the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) as a Resource Management Facilitator where she travels to numerous atolls across the RMI and works directly with the local communities on resource management and conservation issues. She is also one of the Marshall Islands’ core team members for the Micronesia Challenge Socioeconomic Measures Group. In 2020, Alicia enrolled at the University of Guam to pursue her Master of Science in Biology. She has chosen to further her education so she can continue contributing to the local communities that she has dedicated her time and passion to since she began her work at MIMRA.

Her work and experience have also highlighted for her the critical need for expertise in data analysis in Micronesia, and she hopes to help address this gap by completing her degree. Aside from Alicia’s day job, she is also a mother of two beautiful little girls, Silva Jade and Atelini Freda Ketedromo.

Ms. Alicia Edwards

Ms. Maybeleen Apwong was born and raised in Pohnpei, Micronesia. She is a first-generation high school and university graduate from her family. In 2014, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology specifically focusing on Evolution, Ecology and Conservation at the University of Hawai’i-Hilo (UH-Hilo). In the fall of 2020, Ms. Apwong continued her education at UH- Hilo and began a Master’s Program in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Ms. Apwong realized just how much she had taken the natural resources of her beautiful island home for granted, and came to recognize the severity of the threats this bounty now faces from climate change, sea level rise and human activities. In addition to her studies, she is also currently at the

Ms. Maybeleen Apwong