Parents doubly proud as siblings graduate
Tofilau Sualii Sinapati Lelevaga and Anapela Tofilau were beaming with pride on Friday when children graduated during the online ceremony at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.).
One of the couple’s daughters, Angielic Tofilau, was awarded the top student for Bachelor of Education Primary, while their son, Koneferenisi Tofilau. graduated with a Certificate 2 in Welding.
Angielic said achieving her dream demanded constant struggle and she was amazed by the results of her hard work and her brother’s too.
"As the only children of my parents, we are very grateful that we have finally graduated and have made our parents proud,” she said.
“I am a single mum to three kids, they are the reason why I worked hard to earn this piece of paper; it is for our future.
“Thank God for answering my parents prayers.”
Koneferenisi said he owes his achievements to his parents and the powers of prayer with his success.
"Without their support and prayers, I wouldn't have done it and would not be able to graduate," he said.
Both siblings had been looking forward to the usual graduation ceremony and receiving their certificates in front of an audience packed with families and friends.
But they said they were pleased enough with the “social distancing” version that the N.U.S. has been imposed in order to keep aligned to state of emergency rules banning gatherings of five or more.
Students instead have their names broadcast and go to the university’s administrative office to receive their diplomas.
"I feel so happy and excited because me and my brother graduated together,” said Angielic.
“It's a dream come true for the both of us to graduate together, so even though we didn't do the actual graduation but the online graduation is enough to make our parents proud,"
Despite facing financial struggles their parents have always prioritised their children’s education, the results of which they are priceless.
"The biggest challenge for our parents is budgeting the money between me and my sister's education, however we have just given them the result of where their hard earned money has gone to,” said Koneferenisi.
“Seeing them happy it's the greatest joy for the both of us.
"Our father is the breadwinner for our family, they stayed in Savaii and me and my sister stayed here in Upolu for school.”
The two graduates come from Salelavalu, Iva, Vaiusu and Matatufu Lotofaga.