Daniel Koria tops S.D.A. College Year 13
Daniel Koria from the village of Lalovaea is the 2018 valedictorian of the Seventh Day Adventist College.
His achievement as the college’s top academic Year 13 student comes two months after the death of his father Eteuati Koria, who until his passing was the principal of the college.
Mr. Koria’s mother Daisy Koria, who is from Papua New Guinea, told Samoa Observer she was concerned the passing of her husband and son’s father, would affect his preparations for the exams.
“It has been really hard and very challenging, especially with my husband’s absence. But my biggest concern was Daniel because he was going into final exams when his father fell ill and passed. Now I am just so pleased with his accomplishments,” she said.
According to Daniel, his late father pushed him to do his best academically and be a better person in life.
“During our time together he really pushed me to do my best academically and to be a better person in life,” he said.
Born in Fiji but raised in Samoa, Mr. Koria attended SDA schools from primary school to college. And while his mother is Papua New Guinean, Mr. Koria said he is a Samoan at heart, while talking of the challenges he faced trying to fit in amongst his peers.
“The social issue with me looking different. It was always tough with me growing up trying to fit in with kids that did not look exactly like me. But I managed to cope and found myself some good friends and managed to identify myself with them and as one of them, I am proud to be Samoan.
“I am from two different cultures and Samoan culture, they have a significance with respect and that has helped me in growing, to not only go through life respecting those who are older than me—but also those who are younger than me, we are equal,” he added.
As for the future, he said he is hopeful he will ultimately follow a career path that will lead to success.
“I have not decided yet what my career path would be for the future but whatever it is, my only goal is to be as successful as possible,” he added.