Janola follows in mother’s footsteps

Janola Muriel Tofilau is the Year 13 valedictorian for the St Mary College in the 2018 academic year. 

The only commerce and geography student, she surprised her family by topping her class in economics, accounting, math, computing and geography, and came second in religion and third in English.

Hailing from the village of Moamoa, Janola is the daughter of Tania Lui and Faleniu Tofilau and has two other siblings, Tifaimoana and Kallan.

She dedicated her academic success to her parents, but not before acknowledging her mother Tania, who became the sole provider for her family after her father was diagnosed with a heart condition.

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It was a difficult journey for the family after her father’s diagnosis, Janola said, as her mother worked long hours to support the family and her education.

“All that I have been awarded today is dedicated to my parents. I couldn’t have possibly done this without them,” she said.

Coincidentally, Janola follows in her mother’s footsteps, who was also the valedictorian for the St Mary College in 1990. 

“My parents are always supportive through my accomplishments, whether or not I achieve them. But knowing my mum was valedictorian in her time really motivated me to be val for my year,” she added.

With the closing of this chapter of her education, Janola is now prepared for the National University of Samoa, where she will continue her studies as a commerce student, majoring in economics and accounting. 

She dreams of becoming an economist like her uncle Karras Lui, who works at the Central Bank of Samoa, and then be in a position to give back to her family and parents. 

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