Changing others' lives a way of changing your own, students told

By Talaia Mika 07 August 2019, 12:00PM

A family founded non-profit organisation from St. George, Utah is making its first trip to Samoa with a mission of helping students to graduate from high school and reach their full potential.

Presenting at Pesega College yesterday was a family of three and the founders of a new education program: Jack Rolfe, Lexie Rolfe and Hailey Rolfe.

The program has been running for seven years and its founders claim to successfully take 90 per cent of participants (all of whom previously dropped out of school) through to graduation. 

“And so, from that success, we wanted to spread it further and [we] were invited to come and share in Samoa.".

The programme is normally taught by teachers after school. 

However, the School of Life Foundation is now launching a new version based entirely on the internet and for use by teachers in classrooms. 

Social emotional learning will also be added to the education program in its latest iteration. 

Its expansion to Samoa is being funded by individual donations from the United States meaning it can be rolled out here at no cost to schools. 

Presented to an assembly of 650 students of Pesega College on Tuesday, Mr. Rolfe discussed on lesson on changing one's life in less than 30 seconds. 

“I introduced [to the students] how [when] I graduated at the University of Notre Dame, it took me 27 seconds to walk across the stage and that changed my life," he said.

"I introduced to the students the process of having life changing moments and, ultimately, what that is: taking all of your talents and skills and then using it to change the life of somebody else."

Students heard that changing others' lives is often the first step to changing one's own. 

Rolfe said the Foundation is reminding students to believe in themselves and know that they have a purpose in life and that God has given them talents.

If they use those talents and purposes to change the lives of other people, then they’re changing the world, Rolfe said.

“Our desires and goals is to help as many young people in Samoa and other islands in the South Pacific as we can,” he said.

Rolfe is confident that the mission in Samoa will be a success.

“I want to be very respectful for the education that is going on because I can sense already that there are good people, administrators and good teachers that are striving to do wonderful things and that touches my heart," he said. 

“And so if we can just give one more tools that can go on the tool belt, then that is what we wish to do.”

Samoan, Faalogo Sissy Vuki, who also resides in St George, inspired the family to bring their program to Samoa. 

She paid tribute to her late father, who she says gave her the passion to find ways to help Samoa.

“The passion I have for my dad helped me now stretch out to education," she said.

"We see many kids cannot go to school because it is so expensive.

“Education was the [reason] my father left Samoa and had my mom take us to America.

The program will continue at Samoa College Wednesday.

By Talaia Mika 07 August 2019, 12:00PM

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