Stayjay Elidok - Green Card Voices

Stayjay Elidok

Occupation: Student

Country of Birth: Micronesia

Current: O’ahu, Hawai’i

“I want to contribute to my community by helping the immigrants that are coming from Micronesia, by helping them and making them feel welcome and letting them know that I’m on their side too.”

Stayjay Elidok describes himself as half Pohnpeian and half Chuukese. Pohnpei is home to his father’s family while his mother hails from a small atoll in Chuuk. Pohnpei and Chuuk are the two central island states in the Federated States of Micronesia which stretches for 1700 miles across the western Pacific Ocean just north of the Equator. 

Stayjay’s father and grandfather were educators, and although they both passed away when he was young, they left him with a legacy of devotion to family, education, hard work, and civic responsibility. These values have helped him cope with loss, moves, financial hardship, and—like every student of his generation—interrupted education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy hobbies also help him cope and contribute to his overall wellbeing. They include hanging out with peers at school, playing basketball, and keeping in touch with his best friend in Pohnpei via facetime calls. 

When Stayjay reached school age, his parents enrolled him, for three years, in a school where he would receive a strong foundation in English. They could not have known at the time, that eight years later, following the death of his father, he and his mom would be moving to Hawai‘i so she could seek medical treatment. He credits that early foundation in English for easing his transition into a new school and culture in ninth grade. Tougher was adjusting to the challenges of making ends meet. He recalls a time when he could not afford the clothes and shoes he needed for P.E. class. 

Those times are behind them now. His mom is doing well and able to both work and attend college classes. Despite the personal challenges they have faced, Stayjay is taking demanding early college courses, planning to attend law school, and looking forward to the day when he can give back to his community.