(ANNE ARUNDEL, Maryland) – After garnering a number of historic firsts during her teenage years that includes winning the title of Miss Tausala in Maryland, Lusia Aveolelaeosomaiilematasau Cole is set to add another feat to an already lengthy list of impressive accomplishments.

The 18-year-old Chesapeake Science Point School senior receives a high school diploma this year but also completes a two-year degree from Anne Arundel Community College, entering a four-year university as a sophomore in the fall.

(SAMOA) — A giant mural featuring a Samoan Taupou is in progress at Long Beach Boulevard and 69th Street in California, cousins of Artist Jason Pereira urging others to check out the art in person to truly appreciate its beauty.

"Went to check out my cousin's mural today in Long Beach. Been seeing all the posts and pics on Facebook but to be there up close is pretty dope. Wow!," wrote Wayne Luafalemana in a Facebook post.

(LAIE, O'ahu, Hawai'i) — Hale Motu'apuaka of the Mauga Mu Siva Afi Club was crowned the Champion Saturday, May 12 during the finale of the We Are Samoa Cultural Arts Festival.

Runner-up is Matsushima Yuya of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan and third place winner is Papeete, Tahiti native Joseph Cadeaustou, currently based in Vancouver, Washington.

Finalists competed during the Polynesian Cultural Center's "Ha Breath of Life" Show at the Pacific Theater.

The 2018 Champion is from Aiea, O'ahu, Hawai'i and dances with the Mauga Mu Siva Afi club based in Waialua.

(PATA, Falelatai, Samoa) – For the Samoan student, reading and writing are the biggest challenges in academics, says veteran educator Galulolo Fiu Tavita.

In the effort to strengthen these skills among the children at Pata Primary School, Galulolo is seeking books for the library as their current collection lacks the type of reading material students need.

"We have many books and encyclopedia in our library and we are thankful for the donations, but we don't have the type of books the children need," she told Tautalatala.

(PATA, Falelatai, Samoa) – Facebook's importance in keeping Samoans connected with family members – is one of the issues addressed in pese that Pata village will present in celebration of Independence Day June 1, 2018.

Government officials have begun their inspections of pese and siva for Independence Day celebrations and visited Pata Wednesday, May 9. They were received at the guesthouse of Rev. Sisa Samuelu, leader of the Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa at Pata.

(KAPOLEI, Hawai'i) — Students, parents and colleagues are mourning the sudden loss of school teacher Esther Reid Trani, a leader in Hawai'i's Samoan community who worked tirelessly to perpetuate the arts and language of Samoa.

Trani's mother Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau, longtime educator and politician from American Samoa, joined Kapolei High School for a memorial held in her daughter's honor, May 7 at the campus. Flags at Kapolei were flown at half mast.

(SAMOA) — A book that examines land rights and laws in five U.S. territories in the Pacific, was launched over the weekend at Tradewinds Hotel in American Samoa.

Today, May 7, the book's Author Dr. Line Memea Kruse will lead a seminar in which she'll discuss the new title — "The Pacific Insular Case of American Samoa: Land Rights and Laws in Unincorporated U.S. Territories" — at the National University of Samoa.

The event is part of the Seminar & Film Series hosted by the Centre for Samoan Studies at NUS.

(TACOMA, Wa.) — Fifita Lotulelei, the Taupou representing the United Pacific Islanders Impact claimed the best Taualuga prize in the 4th Annual Samoan Arts & Academics Competition.

Along with the honour, UPII's Taupou received a $100 prize from Miss American Samoa 2004 Trixy Taua Petaia, a competition judge.

(SALT LAKE CITY, Utah) — Members of the United Samoan Organization of Hawai'i reconvened as USOH 2.0 to represent Samoa at the Melaleuca Convention Friday, May 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Melaleuca, The Wellness Company, reports that "thousands" were in attendance at the convention where several new products were unveiled at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

The beautiful harmony of its musicians and signature grace, liveliness and precision of USOH combined to deliver an audiovisual treat for attendees and viewers of live video posted on social media.

(TACOMA, Wa.) — Lilly's Bakery, Paka Polynesian Tattoos and Left Coast Streetwear join leaders in education as sponsors of the 4th Annual Samoan Arts & Academics Competition Saturday, May 5 at the Tacoma Dome.

The competition in Washington state, coordinated by Kiana Fuega, has also garnered support from educators as far away as New Zealand, the mobile classroom called Aganu'u Fa'aSamoa, a program of Epiphany Pacific Trust which visited Samoa in 2017 for an up-close study of the art of Tatau.