Daniella Ah Leong-Leota has set a benchmark for herself after finally achieving her goal.
Yesterday, she graduated with a double diploma in Training Design and Development and Diploma of Vocational Educational and Training from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (A.PT.C.).
She was among the 105 students who were awarded the Australian-standard qualifications in 17 different programmes at the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority, Gym 1.
Mrs. Leong-Leota is the daughter of Salā Fata Pinati and Cecilia Peseta from the villages of Leauvaa and Vailima.
The mother of four shared there is no secret behind her success. Everything that she gained was through the power of prayer.
“It is all about being patient and passionate. I think the most important thing is to have the courage and put the Lord first. Today (yesterday) also reflects on the support of families.”
Three years spent in trying to complete her studies was not easy, but Mrs. Leota had her faith in Christ.
“There was a time when I thought that I wasn’t able to complete my two papers, it was kind of surprising. It was the final semester last year that I wanted to give up."
“It just drives me when I think of the passion of the Christ. He has been doing this for us and how are we not able to complete everything that he provided for us.”
Mrs. Leota has been a chef trainer for six years. She helps the youth and the people of Samoa by sharing her skills and knowledge – a stage where it has become more of a passion than a job.
“Cooking is a talent and it starts within the family. You are just applying knowledge and experiment new ideas. It is all about science because I really love science and I took that subject back then."
“It is all about the taste and cooking with standards because here at A.P.T.C., we are under the Australian Government, so we are just maintaining the standard, not just cooking and serving, but making sure that it is up to standard.”
Mrs. Leota adds the support from her loved ones contributes to her success.
“I think it all comes down to the supportiveness of my family, especially my husband because he has been doing a lot for my children, picking them up and waiting for me."
“Everything has to do with my husband and parents and siblings, also my children.”
Mrs. Leota explained: “Some of the challenges are the new trends coming into the hospitality field, but we need to learn."
“It is not just teaching but also having the opportunity to learn every single day, not just from your students, but also the other colleagues."
“This will also open another door for me. It also helps others in building their skills and knowledge."
“Being a female and a cook too, the key is to be down to earth and don’t try to be someone else, just do what you love to do."
“Be proud of yourself and be positive, just ignore what other people say about you because there will always be challenges. And keep moving forward and be positive.”
The Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty, acknowledged and congratulated Mrs. Leota for her success.
“I am extremely proud to witness the results of Australia and their support to education and employment pathways through A.P.T.C."
“As the Honourable Prime Minister noted, today’s (yesterday) graduation brings the number of Samoan nationals, who has gained Australian qualifications, to more than 1,500. That is a significant number."
“Another notable achievement is the close collaboration of N.U.S. and T.V.E.T. programme such as the certificate three in plumbing and certificate four in training and assessment."
“Education is a priority for the Government of Australia and we are proud to support the Government of Samoa in improving the educational outcomes and employment opportunities for the people of Samoa.”