Peer group helped me excel, student says

A student at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) has credited an on-campus peer group for her academic success, claiming there has been a marked improvement in her results since she joined.

N.U.S. Faculty of Arts second-year bachelors degree student, Zelda Ah Ching, told the Samoa Observer that being a member of the Peer to Peer Group is rewarding and pushes her to greater heights.

She said initially she was not a fan of reading but her reading and writing has improved since joining the group and motivated her to improve academically.

As an example, Ms Ah Ching said she was scoring between 60-70 points in her first semester, but her marks have jumped to the 90s since she joined the group. 

Consequently, she encouraged colleague students to consider going down the same path if they want to succeed academically. 

Over 40 students of the group were awarded with certificates at a ceremony at the N.U.S Aoa Conference Room on Wednesday morning.

Former Peers to Peers Initiative Group President, Reupena Foliga, said that he was proud to lead the group of students for two years.

"Since I became president of the Peer to Peer initiative in 2019, I have seen a huge improvement through the years," he said.

Mr Foliga said members of the peer group have become more creative, especially organising events such as the International Women's Day and the International Youth Day.

"With these activities, the peers in a sense became highly proactive. Not only that, but the peers as well learned so many lessons from each other in times of difficulties," he said.

Mr. Reupena also acknowledged the assistance and support of the N.U.S., the Peers to Peers Initiative Group, the coordinators and their partners Brown Girl Woke, Youth and Students for Peace [Y.S.P.] Samoa, and the Lanulau'ava Student Association.

N.U.S sociology lecturer and Peer to Peer Initiative Coordinator, Rosa Filoi, told the Samoa Observer that the initiative is really what the name says – it's from one peer to another, to keep them going and motivated – because sometimes a three-year degree can see students getting lost along the way and it is really those who are around who can help you get better.

"I can happily say that it is student-led because students are now pushing and planning the activities themselves where the faculties come in is we support and resource to a certain extent what we can as the peers seek their own resources as well. But we are there to support, guide and mentor," she added.

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