For the National University of Samoa’s graduation, it was a time of many firsts.
First time awarding doctorates; first for students to graduate with a Bachelors in their families and also a first for fa’afafines.
Amongst the crowd of overjoyed graduates, Adrian McCarthy stood out in the crowd.
McCarthy is the first fa’afafine to graduate with a Masters in Development Studies from the National University of Samoa.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer he said, “I am excited! It’s been long journey of three years now and it’s finally over. I’ve been supported a lot.”
As a full time worker, he put himself through school financially and mastered his time management to be where he is today.
“It is all about time management, because I’m a full time worker. Another thing is, I’m on my own, I’m not on scholarship so I’m happy it’s finally over. I’m hoping to continue to continue to the next level with a scholarship.”
McCarthy issued a challenge for other fa’afafines to rise up in the world of academia.
“I know we get so much criticism from the public regarding our agendas, but this is the only way we can prove them wrong. We can be the best in anything we want to do; both academic and non academic activities,” he said.
The President of the Samoa Fa’afafine Association, So’oalo Roger Stanley said, McCarthy’s achievements provide an outstanding example for others.
He said, “It refreshing to see our people pursuing their hearts desires and succeeding. Whether it’s on stage or in the classroom, we have the capacity to excel in everything we want to.
“Adrian provides that example for us. Malo le tapuai!”