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Million Dollar Scholars: Biba! Cheehoo!

2022 Boise State University Spring Commencement, Albertsons Stadium, John Kelly photo.

Boise State’s connection to the Northern Mariana Islands, a United States commonwealth 6,000 miles across the Pacific, strengthened in 2018 because of a partnership between the university and the Million Dollar Scholars program. The nonprofit, donation-driven social network supports top commonwealth students, many of them the first in their families to attend college.

In the spring of 2022, Boise State’s first group of Million Dollar Scholars graduated, each with honors (left to right):

  • Daniel Villarmero, BS, computer science
  • Angel Legaspi, BS, computer science, cybersecurity
  • Roberta Maratita, BS, sociology
  • Chelsea Isip, BS, public health, general emphasis
  • Alyssa Rae Cepeda, BA, environmental studies
  • Christian Arceo, BS, kinesiology, human performance and exercise
  • Edson Lui Valdisimo, BA, communication

Student Manuel Sablan received his accounting degree in 2021 with honors. He is pursuing a graduate degree at Boise State.

“As a first-generation college student from a 10-mile-long island, the first Million Dollar Scholar of Rota, and the first person in my high school class to seek higher education in the mainland, higher education almost seemed impossible,” Roberta Maratita said. “May I always remember how long I’ve dreamed of being exactly where I am now.”

Since 2018, Boise State has welcomed 42 students from commonwealth communities through the program. A new group will arrive in the fall.