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Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
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Christine F. Halloran
Originally from New York, Ms. Christine Halloran traveled thousands of miles to live and work on Saipan, an island country in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). She now teaches at the Islands William S. Reyes Elementary School. In 1992, only two months after her arrival on Saipan, Ms. Halloran became involved with the Division of Youth Services (DYS), a government youth and family serving agency in the CNMI. In her desire to help victims of child abuse and neglect, Ms. Halloran accepted into her home a teenage girl whom she ultimately adopted a few years ago. From thereon, her destiny appears to be marked as she continued to share her home and heart with children needing foster homes. Believing in these children and seeing the good in every situation sustained her through the tough and challenging times she has experienced as a foster parent. Ms. Halloran attributes her interest in helping children to her mother's influence and her personal faith. As a child, she often was surrounded by disadvantaged children her mother brought into their home to care for and shelter. Currently, Ms. Halloran is a foster mother to a boy who entered her home two years ago, needing the warmth, patience, and love of a caring person. Today, a once dispirited young boy now looks at life with hope and light in his eyes. There is a need to mention briefly about the foster care system in the CNMI in order to get a greater appreciation of the extent of Ms. Halloran's services to victims of child abuse and neglect. With limited resources in the community, DYS experiences difficulties in securing foster homes that would fulfill the placement needs of children who had been removed from their homes due to abuse. Ms. Halloran is one of the few in the community to commit to the challenges of fostering children from dysfunctional homes. A compassionate and true advocate of the needs and rights of children, recently, the inspirational Ms. Halloran was chosen as Teacher of the Year by her school.