Age is just a number for 17-year-old Iese Faleafa of Tulaele.
He’s already making plans and setting goals for the future.
A student at Faleata College, Iese wants to be a sailor like his cousin.
“I am keen on my studies, because I want to be eligible for a slot for the Maritime Academy,” he said.
“You can’t skip classes and expect to graduate from college, I mean that does not make any sense.”
For Iese the key to success is education and honoring parents.
“You may be smart in school, but you won’t succeed in life if you don’t respect and honor your parents. And as a Samoan this is what we are taught, never to talk back to our parents.
“We just do what they we’re told and we don’t ask questions, whether its good or bad.... it does not matter. We do what we’re told,” said Iese.
Going back to his goals for life, Iese said his cousin is a role model.
“My cousin who is currently a Sailor has set a good example for me.
“He leaves home for half a year and upon his return he’s helped our family in so many ways. I want to do the same. “I want to give back to my parents, for the many things they have done for me,” said Iese.
His wishes are to “build a new house for his parents, buy them a car and just give back to my parents.
“That is my goal in life. I cannot do that if I’m not focused on what is important and that is education,” he said.
According to Iese, his uncle is also a role model for him. “My uncle was one of the lucky applicants for the Seasonal Scheme Program and he’s helped out family tremendously. “He was able to purchase all the furniture and appliances for our house..... I’m sure its a good feeling being able to provide for family. I want to be just like, to give back,” said Iese.
He pointed out that Samoa’s way of life is difficult if you don’t work. “And you can’t get a good job if you don’t succeed in school. And you can’t succeed if you don’t study.”