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American Samoan to Intern in Senator Inouye’s Office - Governor Togiola asks Members of Congress for Internship Opportunities for Pacific Islanders



 Lauiula Pua Matila (mother), Lt. Gov. Sunia, and Petti Tagipo Matila

In a news release received from the Office of the Governor of American Samoa, Petti Tagipo Matila, 23, was named the Intern to U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) in Washington, D.C. The announcement was made during a presentation at the governor's office by Lt. Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia.

Lieutenant Governor Ipulasi congratulated Ms. Matila and expressed his sincere thanks to Senator Inouye for believing in the American Samoa Internship Program. American Samoa Interns become part of Senator Inouye's legislative staff and provide input and information on the various issues that they handle.

"This intern program is a breeding ground for American Samoa's most talented, energetic and eager minds. American Samoa is indebted to the kind Senator for this great honor," said Lt. Governor Sunia.

In 1981, Senator Inouye initiated the American Samoa Internship Program, a unique opportunity for Samoan young people to continue their education in the workplace.

Since its inception, the American Samoa Intern Program has seen 19 interns. The term for each intern is one year – typically, from January to January. One-year terms give interns the benefit of experiencing one full half of a legislative session of the U.S. Congress.
Beginning January 2004, the Governor became responsible for selecting the Intern to Senator Inouye's office. Applications, selection criteria and information about the program are available online. Governor Togiola said he would like to discuss with other Members of Congress about similar opportunities in their respective offices.
Nikolao Pula, the current Director of the Office of Insular Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior, was the very first intern in 1981. Past interns include: Lydia Faleafine-Nomura, Lancaster Allen, Christina Lutu, Josie Puletasi, Sina Solomona, Terry Letuli, Nathaniel Savali, Toetasi Tuiteleleapaga, Lupe Aumavae and Dora Ah-Sue.

Ms. Matila received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona – Tucson and is a former Congressional Intern of Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin's District Office in 2003. She is currently employed at the local Office of Insular Affairs on American Samoa.

"This wonderful opportunity will be a remarkable experience to closely observe federal legislations that directly impact American Samoa and other U.S. Territories. It will prepare me to be a resourceful leader and, most importantly, as a public servant for the benefit of American Samoa," concluded Ms. Matila.

Applications for the 2009 American Samoa Intern Program are now available.  For more information, please email Mr. Toetasi Tuiteleleapaga, Governor's Legal Counsel, at: toetasi@americansamoa.gov