Success belongs to those who work hard. Don’t give up!

Congratulations are in order today. We say this because we believe every student who has secured a place in the 2020 scholarship intake for awards funded by Australia, New Zealand and the Government, deserves to be commended.

Indeed, this is a very proud moment in their lives. For 64 students from the National University of Samoa’s Foundation programme especially, this is possibly the biggest achievement yet in their educational journey. Which is why we want to say well done.

It goes without saying that success doesn’t just fall from the sky. No amount of sitting around, praying and wishing upon the stars will make one successful. It requires sacrifice, time, tears, sweat, dedication and a lot of effort. Work spells success and that is when one finds it, it is sweet. It wouldn’t be beautiful without the pain.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was among the officials who congratulated the students on their achievements. That includes 29 students who have been sponsored by Australia, 32 by New Zealand and three by Samoa.

In offering his heartfelt congratulations, Tuilaepa said: “No doubt for all of you; the awards have been lifelong targets. They give recognition to your potential to contribute to the development of Samoa in your chosen fields of study.”

New Zealand’s High Commissioner, Dr. Trevor Matheson, also offered congratulations, making the point that not everyone can get a scholarship award.

“The scholarship you have been awarded acknowledges your determination, endurance, intelligence and hard work,” said Dr. Matheson. “It recognizes that you are academically capable, self-driven, keen to make a real difference in your young lives.”  

Australia’s High Commissioner, Sara Moriarty, echoed Tuilaepa and Dr. Matheson’s sentiments, but she took it one step further.

“The Australia Awards build valuable people to people links and trust between our nations,” she said. “You are future leaders of Samoa in your chosen fields. The skills you learn will support the development of your families, villages and country.”

We couldn’t agree more. It is also why the achievement of awards by these students is such a proud moment for this country. In this corner of the world, we often say that it takes a village to raise a child. There is a reason for that.

We believe that for every child who has achieved something, he/she represents the dreams and the journey that would have taken years of prayers and hard work. For every student who is successful, think of the parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the entire family unit that’s behind them.

Think of the prayers from pastors, church members and the tapuaiga from the villages and much, much more. For many of these students, they represent the hopes and dreams of their parents. Many of these parents did not have the luxury or the opportunity the students of today now have.

In some cases, many of those parents would have had to give up their dreams to find “any job” so they could look after their parents, families and raise the very children who now have the chance to go much, much further.

Oftentimes, they speak of us Samoans being a people of the “we” rather than the “me.” One child will have many supporters from parents, siblings, aunties, uncles, grandparents, church friends and sometimes, entire villages. It is why in times like this when we celebrate success in Samoa, it means a lot more.

Looking ahead, the students are obviously nervous and excited. Understandably so. Many of them have provably never left home and so task of branching off from the comfort and safety of home is a daunting one. But this is where it begins.

“To the recipients of the scholarship awards for 2020, your future is in your hands – use this privileged opportunity wisely and strive to reach your goals in your studies and personal life,” Tuilaepa said.

“No doubt during your journey, you will face challenges and distractions; the environment will be unfamiliar, the guidance from families will seem a little distant, the queue to find help may seem endless but doors will be opened to those who persistently knock and help services and opportunities are available.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Lastly, what about the students who didn’t get a scholarship? Where do they go?

Well it’s not the end of the world. Many moons ago, there was only one pathway to educational success and that involved finding a scholarship. Not any more.

While it is nice to have a scholarship, life does go on without it. In Samoa today, there are many educational opportunities available to those who miss out on these foundation scholar awards.

All that’s needed is a commitment to a work ethic that is unrivalled, more dedication and a never say never kind of attitude.

Do not give up, the sky is the limit!

Have a wonderful Thursday Samoa, God bless!



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