Education is one path towards a brighter future.
But it is not the only path.
Ask Epati Tuputasi and he is happy to tell you the road he took.
“Education was always my number one priority,” he said.
“However sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you anticipate and that’s when you need to be flexible.”
The19-year-old of Lotofaga quit school in 2015.
“I’m a former student of Lepa College. I was always very passionate about going to school and my goal to get an education.
“I have always wanted to finish my education so I can make my parents proud.”
But the young man was forced to choose between pursuing his goal and helping his parents when he was in Year 12.
That’s when he decided to polish his other talent of designing and printing elei materials which he then sells for money.
“It was an opportunity for me,” he said. “I know that in life when one door closes, another opens.
“For now, even though I’m still determined to go back to school but I know God has other plans for me
“So I’m using my other talent to pursue my dreams and earn what I can to support my family with elei making.
“Even though the money I earn is not a lot but I am just happy to be able to contribute to our family.”
Epati said he usually designs and print uniforms for their youth groups.
The young man is from a family of nine. Two of his sisters live overseas while the rest are in Samoa.
Epati plans to head to New Zealand to broaden his knowledge and find better opportunities.
“I am ready to leave Samoa for New Zealand next month, and I’m taking my little brother with me
“This is all my sister’s doing. Her desire is for us to live better lives. I’m looking forward to it.”
Who knows? He might even return to school and complete his unfinished business.