The family of Lefaotogi C. Paletasala Chu Ling-Faolotoi is celebrating sweet success.
The eldest of Tuilaepa Eti and Amiatu Catherine Faolotoi’s five siblings has graduated from Unitec at Mt Albert, Auckland, with a Bachelor in Civil Engineering, majoring in Structures.
The qualification is the latest achievement for the young man who also holds a National Diploma in Construction Management, Project Manager and Quantity Surveying.
“I cannot thank my family enough, especially my parents and grandparents,” he said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have made it to where I am now.”
The graduate was especially grateful to the Minister of Agriculture, La’auli Leuatea, his wife and Samoa’s Consular in Auckland, Faolotoi Reupena, who attended his big day.
For Lefaotogi, last week’s graduation was the culmination of a journey which started at Peace Chapel, Marist Mulivai and Samoa College many years ago.
Initially an Art student, it was at the University Preparatory Year at Le Papaigalagala he realised he wanted to become a Civil Engineer.
But his subjects of choice couldn’t quite do that for him.
So with the help from the Head of the Science Faculty at the time, he had to take extra courses and subjects to qualify as a Science student. It took him an extra year but he was steadfast.
Determination and perseverance within one year earned him the grades, which allowed him to graduate as a Science student, opening the gate to pursue his dream career in New Zealand. The rest as they say is history.
Lefaotogi has since taken up work with Beca, an Engineering Consultancy Company for Asia and the Pacific in Auckland.
For now, he wants to enjoy and learn as much as he can, hoping that one day, when he is well equipped with the practical skills, he will return to Samoa.
Lefaotogi is a graduate member of GIPENZ (Institution of Professional Engineers of NZ) and his next step is becoming a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPeng).