The scriptures say that a wise son makes a father proud.
In the case of Saisamoa Grey, her achievement in Hawaii, becoming one of the first Samoans to graduate with a Juris Doctor Degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has made her mother, Tuilaepa Mary Grey, very proud.
The 59-year-old mother could not attend the graduation because of other family commitments.
But she could not contain her excitement, visiting the Samoa Observer to express her delight about her daughter.
“Looking back – I humble myself and thank God for His faithfulness upon our child’s life,” she said.
“There’s nothing to be proud of but to give Glory and I am hoping that she’ll return back to Samoa and serve here in the future.”
Tuilaepa said Saisamoa is her only child and she was raised in Samoa all her life.
“Our dream with her grandmother, the late Sa’ilau was to see her happy and successful,” she said.
Now that she has achieved, Tuilaepa said: “Daughter, you have made our dream with your grandmother come true!
“You have sacrificed a lot to be there today. Congratulations.”
Tuilaepa said her daughter’s learning started from humble beginnings with a broken typewriter.
“When she was young we tried to put her in pre-school but that didn’t happen – she cried all the time because some children touched her curly hair,” she said.
“Then we decided with my mother, the late Sa’ilau to let her stay home, from there we felt sorry for her and my mum told me to find something so that she could occupy her time.
“Then there was an old typewriter at the back of our house, I cleaned and washed it again, placed it on the table.
“There, she spent her whole time – I wrote down words and numbers from 1 to 10 and then she typed it down.
“Luckily, she could still see the letters and numbers on the broken typewriter and that’s how she started to develop herself in education until she went on to St. Mary’s Primary up to the National University of Samoa.”
Saisamoa was educated at St. Mary’s Primary, St. Mary’s College and at the National University of Samoa.
She gained some impressive qualifications along the way beginning with her Foundation Certificate in Art from the National University of Samoa, followed by an Associate of Arts Degree in Pre Law from American Samoa Community College (A.S.C.C.); an Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from ASCC; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Administration of Law from University of Hawaii at Hilo.
“She started from broken typewriter and I am very happy for her….I always encouraged her to be strong in the Lord and never stop praying. That’s the key of every blessing in anyone’s life.”
Saisamoa was also the managing editor of the Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, the most highly cited legal academic journal focusing on Asia and Pacific issues, President of the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society, the Secretary of the Law Student Government, and President of the BLSA Moot Court Team.
She was the first dual recipient of the Sam L. Cohen Fellowship for International Human Rights and the Advocates for Public Interest Law and a presenter at the recent International Law and Policy Conference on Marine Diversity, Climate Change and Maritime boundaries.
Saisamoa hails from the villages of Falefa and Apia.