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Fil-Am whiz kid from Saipan accepted to Harvard University

Fil-Am whiz kid Robert Malate with MHS Principal Cherlyn Cabrera Photo © Lyn Lirio

HARVARD University and Dartmouth College, two of America’s premier learning institutions belonging to the elite Ivy League schools, have accepted a talented 18-year old senior public high school student from Saipan fulfilling his dream to enter in one of the United States’ best school.

Robert Jomar Malate, whose father Roberto and mother Theresa are both Filipino descent, got the surprise of his life last March 11 when he received an email from Harvard University Admission Committee informing him that he was accepted to their collegiate program.

The surprise was compounded when three weeks after that, he got another letter, this time from Dartmouth College; also informing him about his acceptance to their program.

Malate, who is graduating from the Marianas High School (MHS) next month, said that after weighing his choices he decided to go with the Massachusetts based Harvard University.

“I’m planning on going to Harvard and I’m planning on taking computer science and, maybe, electrical engineering,” he said.

Malate recounted that when he received an email from the Harvard he was so overjoyed that he carried his mother around the house.

“I got an early acceptance and it took me a while to get that. I’m honored and I feel blessed. I’m really happy that my whole work paid off,” he said in an interview.

According to MHS principal Cherlyn Cabrera, Malate is an excellent student. He is also active in many extra-curricular activities and has been a participant of many academic competitions since his middle school years.

Of the requirements he had to meet in applying to the universities and colleges, Malate admitted that he had a hard time writing the essays.

“I wrote two essays, one is communal which I sent to all universities and colleges that I applied to, and the other is general topic which I sent to Harvard,” he said.

The 18-year-old student said he wrote about his hardship of getting in to aeronautical dolphins team. He talked about his challenges, struggle and the work he put in.

In his second essay, he talked about his family. He described how he was in the house and how he was for being a “kuya” – eldest son.

“I wrote that I clean the house just to help my mom and I also talked about my feelings like why do I have to do it and not my sisters? I just talked what I learned for being a “kuya”,” he said.

According to Malate, his five mentors who wrote recommendations for him have helped him get accepted to the prime university. He advised the younger students to build good relationships with teachers, mentors, professors who will be with them as “they are the outside voice that can give information to the universities on how would you be as a student.”

Cabrera said Malate’s achievement is an inspirational story to MHS students.

“It affects, not just the school community, but also the CNMI. We are remote and a small island and yet we can big dreams and we can attain it,” she said.

“We are very proud of Robert and his accomplishments and we are proud to be his school and to think that we have a small part in his success it makes us very happy,” the principal added.

Lori Lyn Lirio
Lori Lyn C. Lirio is a veteran newshen having worked for the People's Journal Tonight for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University. She currently writes for the Marianas Variety, Saipan's number one community paper. .

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