Guam – A local attorney received some presidential praises this week for his human rights work. Former President Barack Obama gave Attorney Julian Aguon a shout out during a speech he gave at the University of Hawaii Manoa.
“People like Julian Aguon. Where’s Julian? Way back there!” Obama said as he scanned the crowd for the lawyer. “Human rights lawyer from Guam who’s finding new ways to support indigenous peoples.”
Attorney Aguon of Blue Ocean Law was tapped to join the Obama Foundation for a young leaders design workshop. He is one of a few selected by the former president to serve on this program with the goal of finding solutions to global problems.
Aguon joins 20 other bright young minds who met with Obama over the weekend in Hawaii where they were given a chance to voice their ideas for change. But not all of them got a nod from Obama. During the speech he gave at UH Manoa, Obama mentioned only three by name.
The former president says he modeled the design workshop after a successful workshop the non-profit organization completed in South Africa. First he brings together young leaders, like entrepreneurs, politicians, legal experts, and social ambassadors to design the workshop which will then be used by 200 emerging leaders from the region.
“This group has essentially been our brain trust to help figure out what’s gonna be useful when we bring that larger group together and they’re gonna help us build this enduring platform to inspire and connect and empower the next generation of leaders,” Obama said. “So they’re combating corruption, they’re fighting poverty, they’re increasing access to healthcare, they’re defending press freedoms, they’re educating other young people and 10 years, 20 years, 30 years when they are now national and global leaders and powerful advocates and successful entrepreneurs, they are going to have, across borders, a connection that is gonna be extraordinarily powerful.”
This isn’t the first time Aguon has received presidential praises. In 1998, Aguon sang the National Anthem for President Bill Clinton during his visit under the Gutierrez-Bordallo Administration.
You can read about Attorney Aguon’s work at Obama.org.