The Gifted and Talented Education program of the Guam Department of Education has spent decades engaging students in academic opportunities islandwide.
Coming from public and private schools, the participants enjoy taking part in activities to expand not only their mind but also their circle of friends.
One of these activities is the Academic Challenge Bowl. ACB is a quiz bowl competition in which students in teams of four answer a variety of questions.
This year, the John F. Kennedy High School Islanders placed second out of all the ACB teams on island.
Yvan Chu, a senior at JFK, had a lot to say about the enjoyment the academic activity brought to his life.
“ACB helps you prep skills such as coordination and teamwork,” Chu said. The senior highlights how one gets to know more about his or her team during the season.
When asked if ACB was given enough attention, Chu said, “ACB is super underrated. It’s honestly a super fun way to get nerdy and smarter every day.”
The 12th-grader has strong Islander pride because of ACB. He said it was his first time to join a “competitive sport” in high school.
In all, Chu believes ACB is an opportunity to get engaged and learn skills every day. Improving skills one year at a time, the Islander team looks forward to another year of the ACB with sights set on the championship.
Another great academic activity is the National Forensics League. NFL is a national society that helps promote forensic art such as debating and public speaking.
One student who partakes in NFL is Christin Baik, a sophomore at the Academy of Our Lady of Guam.
“Our club is open and inclusive so anyone can join anytime,” Baik said.
In addition to providing a family environment, NFL helps students develop skills, Baik said. “NFL has helped me face even the harshest challenges with ease and moved me to become a more refined person who is not afraid of new things,” she added.
With new skills, Baik credits the legacy of Academy, which has roots in NFL since 2006.
Baik said she loves being engaged with the program and representing her school, which she called an “honor.” The smart young woman added, “The experiences, memories, opportunities, challenges, and being part of a legacy were all truly a blessing.”
The Cougars are looking toward another season to continue their legacy and add to their impressive standings. With more than three awards this year in various categories, AOLG is certainly a team to look out for.
With ACB and NFL, all participants are winners in their own ways. These opportunities are a fun way to get engaged with the brightest and most promising teens our island has to offer.