Proud Samoan cousins graduate together

Two Samoan cousins graduated together at the Wellington Institute of Technology , New Zealand on April 12, but in quite different fields. 

While Genesis Kilepoa chose automotive technology, his cousin Jadyn Ualesi continued on with business administration, a subject she had studied at the National University of Samoa.  “I was born and raised in Samoa until in 2015 I moved here to New Zealand and Wellington,” said Jadyn. “I stayed with my Aunty, Genesis’ mum, as we both continued our studies from where we left off in Samoa.” 

She says having a cousin studying at the same place was really special. 

“My cousin and I were born and raised in the same family so I look up to him as my older brother. We would have breakfast at the student canteen together before our first morning classes. On my first day at WelTec, he stayed and waited for me at the end of the day. That’s what we call family. We help each other even if you’re tired from everything you were doing all day.” 

For Jadyn, the WelTec tutors soon became family too. 

“Having my tutors supporting me was like having all my aunties and uncles, cousins and friends from all over the world in one small house, all there to support me.  “It’s the best feeling, to be honest. With my family supporting me from back home in Samoa and your tutor helping you at the same time, it gives you the strength to keep on studying.”  Jadyn studied the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Administration and Technology) to help her English, learn to work in groups and gain useful skills to become work-ready. 

Jadyn is also passionate about writing. “I am focusing on writing my second and third books following my first, Fear to Love that was published in Samoa and Auckland at the beginning of the year. I am planning to inspire more young ones with the talent that God gave me to use as an author.” 

As for graduation, she said she was looking forward to the occasion with Genesis there with her. “I’ve never been so happy to graduate,” says Jadyn. “The last time I ‘graduated’ was from my school in 2013 so the more I think about my very first graduation, the more nervous I become, but happy at the same time too.” 

Genesis is continuing with the advanced Certificate in Automotive Technology (Level 4) which he will complete over two years. This qualification means he will be able to work as an automotive heavy road transport technician. 

WelTec students achieved more than 3600 qualifications 2015. 

Graduation ceremonies were held at the Michael Fowler Centre Wellington on Tuesday 12 April.

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