Hard work pays off. Daniel Faletoese, 21, knows this.
He is living proof that if you work hard enough, anything is possible.
Mr. Faletoese, the eldest son of Mulinuu Su’a and Sara Faletoese Su’a from the villages of Vaivase-Tai, Moataa, Safotu and Safune, Savaii, is the Top Nursing student at the National University of Samoa.
After three years of challenges, he says through this achievement it is proof that despite how society sees a person it will never limit their capabilities.
“I think the support my family gave me was the main motivation for me and also being a fa’afafine there were a lot of issues like people mocking and stuff like that,” he said.
“That was my drive I can do this and prove myself. I feel really proud because my classes are really long and there were so many of us when we first started.
“I am honoured and privileged to get this prize.”
Speaking to the Samoa Observer he shares it was through his parents support and friends that he was able to pull through.
“I did not do it alone; greater is he that is in me than of the one that is in the world, which was my motivation.
“I have seen it happen to many fa’afafines, the bullying, but I think I grew up in a safe environment and I was not bullied.
“I was able to stand up for others that were like me, that is how we do it, one fa’afafine stands up for one another. Some people see it as a joke, but we are just human beings.”
In class, he said: “No one laughs at me in class; and I think that fa’afafines stand out. We come in with make-up and stuff. But I am thankful that we are not getting mocked in class.
“The journey that I was in was not easy, but I am thankful for the supporters that I had which made it manageable for me.
“I think I was one of the youngest in my class, everybody was seeing me as a little child, but proving myself, that I can do this, I can be the same as them. It makes me really proud of that achievement that I never knew I would get.
“I think there were like 130 or something when I started in class, now there are only 73 I think that graduated in the area that I have chosen.”
Mr. Faletoese acknowledged his mother for being his inspiration in his life and also his grandmother who was able to witness this milestone in his life.
“I guess this achievement that I have made sets up a good example for my younger siblings.”