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Neelma Skilling [Kosrae]

Neelma Skilling

Neelma Skilling

Degree sought: Food Science and Human Nutrition – Dietetics
Hometown: Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia

What drew your interest to the CHL training program?
I was drawn to the fact that the CHL training program was available at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where both of my parents attended school.  Also, and probably the most important thing was that the program deals with children: I am really interested in a career that allows me to work with and help children.

What are your long-term goals?
Interestingly, I originally wanted to become a diplomat (such as an ambassador), but after volunteering and participating in work-study programs that were related to the health field I really wanted to become a physician or pediatrician.  Now, as I am learning more about nutrition in relation to childhood obesity, I really hope that I will be able to find a career that allows me to incorporate all of these interests.

After completing your studies, how do you hope to impact your home community?
I hope to at least be influential in the prevention of obesity in Kosrae.

Describe one thing that you appreciate about your home community.
I like the fact that it is so small: only 42-square miles, to be exact.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned thus far from the CHL program?
As young as I am, the best thing I can have on my side is the motivation to help make a difference.

What is a typical day for you like?
Busy, but fun!  Since I am living away from home now, I do not have as much house work to do, but I still have to organize my time for school work and take a little break every now and then.

What are your hobbies / interests?
Mainly sports. I enjoy playing volleyball, basketball, and softball.

What’s your favorite food or dish to cook?
Grilled reef fish and steamed ripe banana.

What is the healthiest dish you know how to cook?
My favorite food/dish to cook is also the healthiest dish I know how to cook.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go and why?
Greece.  I have always imagined what it would be like to visit such a place because I have always been so fascinated by their famous myths and just everything about Greece.

Any words of wisdom for future CHL trainees?
Always keep in mind that this is not an opportunity that comes along every day.