Public policy interns discuss visa waiver program - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Public policy interns discuss visa waiver program

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Today a briefing on the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program was held at Speaker Judi Won Pat's office by a few up-and-comers at the Guam Legislature. Bing Wang, an incoming senior at St. John's School, wants to be a diplomat when he grows up and a briefing today helped him get one step closer to it.

Wang was one of five high school interns from the Public Policy Institute who were able to present their ideas regarding the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program. The interns presented ideas regarding Guam's economy and tourism numbers and outlined the pros and cons of the China and Russia visa waiver. Wang says he hopes today's presentation will provide insight on how to revive Guam's financial depression, telling KUAM News, "I hope that everyone can gain knowledge about the Guam Visa Waiver Program and eventually allow Russians and Chinese people in to bolster the economy."

Won Pat says she established the program to expose students to the democratic process including drafting legislation, developing policy documents and conducting briefings such as today's that she and her colleagues do everyday. "They're not going to sit here and make coffee or answer telephones, no, they're really going to do anything and everything that our staff would do and ultimately, the last thing is critical thinking and analysis and I want them to now try to put a bill together as the end product of their time here as interns," she said.

Won Pat says the interns helped in writing her testimony regarding the China and Russia visa waiver, which she was going to present to Congress. She hopes the program will inspire more about the public policy decisionmaking process. "I want to do this in the future, I want to be a diplomat in the future, so gaining experience from local government, I hope to come back in the future as a diplomat and work with all of these people in the future," she said.

Students were given certificates documenting their hours and received service learning credit for their experience.

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