Former Miss PNG to jet off for studies

The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) PNG Committee is proud to congratulate and farewell former Miss PNG and Miss Pacific Islands 2018-2019 Leoshina Mercedes Kariha who travels to the Hawaii islands this week for studies.

She won a prestigious United States South Pacific scholarship program offered by the United States government under its Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs in 2020. However, due to Covid pandemic, she stayed back in Port Moresby and completed two years of study online.

Kariha is doing a four-year Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Political Science at the University of Hawaii’s Hilo campus.

Lady Jenny Nades, Sir Mick Nades and Leoshina Kariha at a farewell lunch

Kariha thanked the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Miss Pacific Islands Pageant Papua New Guinea, her family and friends for supporting her studies and scholarship endeavours.

She said it was challenging to do virtual studies but she had learnt so many new things.

Kariha also Thanked Sir Mick Nades and IBS University for appointing her the IBSU Ambassador over the last year to provide mentoring to students and promote the IBSU brand.

She said, “I am very grateful for the opportunity provided by IBSU and would love to continue to support students online.” It is humbling to be given this opportunity to continue my studies under a US Government’s prestigious program for Pacific islanders. It is a new chapter of my life which I am eager to begin.”

“Education is very important to me. My intention is to develop myself academically, before I can return to contribute to national and regional development. In PNG and the Pacific there is poor representation of women in political leadership. This motivated me to take up these studies,” said Kariha.

Her interest lies in Diplomacy and International Relations which comes under Political Science. She is aims to better understand politics and guide more women into leadership roles.

MPIP PNG Committee Chairperson, Molly O’rourke, Leoshina and Euralia Paine

Kariha encouraged young people to seek opportunities to continue their education; including online.

“There are opportunities available for us to develop ourselves. We need to be determined to look for them. Work hard, support one another and lift each other up in your own circles of influence.”

“To young women of PNG and the Pacific – you can do all you set your minds to doing. Challenge yourselves and strive for change,” said Kariha.

Chairperson of the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) PNG Committee Mrs Molly O’Rourke also congratulated Kariha and wished her well in her studies.

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