New graduate pushes for more passionate environmental warriors

Samoa needs more young passionate environmental warriors who can create positive environmental changes in the country, says 22-year-old Gloria Regina Roma.

Gloria recently graduated with a postgraduate diploma in science with merit from the University of Auckland.

She dedicated her achievements to her parents Amituana'i and Fili Roma of Saleufi and Vaisala as well as her uncle and aunt, Faiga and Alofa.

"In my university experience sadly very few Pacific Islanders are in this field. In my undergraduate years there were very few Samoans and other Pacific Islanders doing environment papers or majoring in environmental science or conservation biology," she said.

She spent most of her high school years in Fa'atuatua Christian College before moving to Lynfield College for Year 13, and said she was always interested in Biology.

"I got accepted into the University of Auckland and decided to pursue my aspirations of becoming an environmental specialist. I started my bachelor of science degree at the University of Auckland in 2015, where I double majored in conservation biology and environmental science. 

"I decided to take on another challenge and did my postgraduate diploma in environmental science in 2018," she said.

Last year, she started her environmental science internship at Conservation International Samoa for four months, which she said was the perfect time to "transform all the theory and practice I learnt in university into valuable and useful ideas"

"Everyone is aware now that climate change is a huge global issue and already affecting Samoa’s population and its economic sector. 

"I feel it is my responsibility as an environmental scientist to help develop effective strategies for reducing and managing the risks of climate change."

Her advice to young Samoans is to study hard and strive for success. 

"My advice for the younger Samoans is keep going I know studying is hard and it doesn’t matter if it takes you longer than others to get to your goal what’s more important is your willingness and passion to achieve that goal," Gloria said. 

"I got accepted to do my masters at the University of Auckland and am thinking of starting in July second semester. I am willing to come back after my studies and contribute what I have learnt to the ongoing development of our country," she said.

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