Alofi-o-Taoa dux dedicates success to late father
When Pearl Siala Fa'amau's name was called out as the Dux for Alofi-o-Taoa College, there was one person she was hoping to see in the audience. Sadly for her, that person could not be there since her father, Sooalo Fa'amau, had passed away in December 2019.
Still, the reserved teen from the villages of Paia and Samauga immediately dedicated her success to her late Papa.
"I am overwhelmed with joy," Ms. Fa'amau said. "I cannot believe I am here today and I got this result; there are no words to explain how grateful I am. But I am humbled and grateful.
"I didn't think this would be the result I get for this year. All I did was studied hard and gave it my all hoping I would finish this year.
"But all glory goes back to the man above for His guidance and blessings."
The eighteen-year-old admits that her final year in College was no walk in the park, especially after the passing of her father.
However, Ms. Fa'amau said her father's fighting spirit was what inspired her to continue and helped her to get to where she is today.
"This year has been the most challenging year for me. It was tough and full of obstacles. Because I was given the role to lead the school this year as the Head Girl, it came with a lot of expectations and commitment.
"So I had to juggle school work, my duties as a head girl, and also my obligations at home. There were times when I felt like giving up because of the load I had to carry.
"However, I was reminded of my dad's advice for me, that there are challenges in life and that I should never give up. I kept his words close to my heart and kept me going.
"The main thing that was on my mind was the support and love of my aiga (family) who pushed and motivated me to keep going.
"My dad challenged me last year before he passed away. He told me that I should never allow anyone to defeat me at school.
"Last year, I also topped our Year 12 level, and my father challenged me that I should work hard to get the same result this year.
"And when he passed away, I didn't know what to do and I was so lost.
"However, his fighting spirit continues to inspire me and as much as I hope he was still around to witness this milestone, I hope he is happy and proud of me."
While her focus right now is the national examinations for Samoa Secondary Leaving Certificate, Ms. Fa'amau has her eyes set on becoming a teacher in the future.
"I have a passion for helping people especially my younger siblings, nephews, and nieces.
"I love helping others too. So I've already made up my mind that I want to pursue a career in teaching because I want to come back and teach the younger children and help them get educated.
"But only God knows what the future will be, so I will trust his timing and his calling."
The proud mother, Tafaoata Fa'amau was speechless when her opinion was sought about her daughter's achievement.
"I am humbled and grateful," Mrs. Fa'amau told the Samoa Observer. "There are no words to explain how I feel as a mother and it's the same for our family.
"We give thanks to the Lord for His blessings upon our daughter and we wished her father was still here with us."
Mrs. Fa'amau described her daughter as a quiet and reserved person.
"She doesn't say much and she is always in her little corner either studying or spending time with her grandmother.
"Unlike other girls her age, Pearl does not like going out to hang with friends, and it's not because she is anti-social, but it's just the way she is.
"As a proud mother, I am happy that all her hard work has paid off.
"We've seen her struggle with her studies all throughout this year. Sometimes when I see that she is stressed, I tell her to take a break or get some rest because I didn't want her to become ill.
"However, she would insist that she has a lot of work to do so we never bothered her with chores at home."
Pearl Siala Fa'amau came first in English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Samoan, Computer Studies and also received special awards for the Best Conduct student, the Best spirited kid in school, Top Art student.