|May 29, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Faleomavaega Congratulates Two Samoans Graduating from Military Academies|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
today offered congratulations to Mr. Conan Vaiao Ala’ilima and Ms. Nina
Guadalupe Salazar who both will be graduating this week from military academies.
Mr. Conan Ala’ilima will be graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York while Ms. Nina Salazar will graduate from the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Mr. Conan Ala’ilima will be awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Ms. Nina Salazar will receive her degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Both will be commissioned as second lieutenants upon graduation, Mr. Ala’ilima in the U.S. Army and Ms. Salazar in the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. Ala’ilima entered the academy at West Point through a nomination by Congressman Faleomavaega. He is a product of the Catholic school system in American Samoa – having graduated from Marist High School in 1998 and previously from Marist-Saint Francis Elementary School. He was valedictorian of his graduating class at both schools.
Mr. Conan Ala’ilima is the son of High Chief Leiataua Birdsall Ala’ilima and Marlene Jahnke of Tafuna, American Samoa. His younger brother named Birdsall Vo’a Alailima also attends the same academy.
Upon graduating from San Diego High School in San Diego, California, Ms. Salazar received numerous scholarships from a variety of sources. She was accepted by some of the top universities in the country including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and University of California at Berkeley.
Ms. Nina Salazar is the daughter of Iva Pisia Tuatagaloa of Vailoatai, American Samoa and Edward Salazar who is of Mexican descent. The family currently resides in San Diego, California.
“Graduating from a military academy is no easy feat for anyone and the achievements set by Conan and Nina are an inspiration to our people and especially the Samoan youth,” Faleomavaega said. “Samoans have a long tradition of supporting the defense of our nation and the willingness of these two young Samoans to defend our country is sincerely appreciated by all.”
“I am so proud of these two young Samoans,” Faleomavaega continued. “As I have stated many times in the past, I truly believe that when given the opportunity and resources, Samoans can excel in any field or area.”
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