Science graduate honours late mother
A National University of Samoa science graduate has credited his late mother for his academic success.
Sinipao Samitioata Fealofani, 24, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science on Thursday and was among 400-plus students who completed their studies and received their awards.
He told the Samoa Observer in an interview that he has dedicated his degree award to his late mother Sinuanua S Fealofani.
"I dedicate this award to the woman who brought me into this world, my very own mother Sinuanua S Fealofani, I believe that she is watching from heaven to this great moment," he said.
"I have fought the battle of fear in education and yet I have conquered it with the presence of our lord God.
“It has been a long journey and I say it was the rough one ever.”
The graduate’s families abroad as well as prayer warriors were also acknowledged and he thanked them for the support.
"To my grandparents in Pago Eseta and Aukuso Aneti and Mama Vaepa Roberts thank you for your words of encouragement, to all my families in the States – faafetai tatalo, faafetai tapuai.
“I don’t know where I would be in this lifetime if it wasn’t for you all. I wish you all could be here and witness my achievement, this is for you all.
"Thank you lord for your endless blessings upon me which comes in different ways, may the praise for me be little but your praise be endured forever.”
Mr Fealofani currently works as a development officer at the Samoa International Cricket Association.
One of his N.U.S. student colleagues who also graduated, Peleiupu Agnes Foti, spoke of the challenges that she faced on the way to completing her studies and graduating with a bachelor’s degree.
"All praise and glory go back to God as he owns the wisdom, I am very humbled as I have successfully accomplished my mission,” she told the Samoa Observer.
“The journey was not easy, I have failed a few times but it did not stop me from achieving my goals and dreams!
“Through patience and perseverance with the help of the lord I was able to walk on that stage with a grateful heart.”
Acknowledging her family’s support and encouragement during those challenging times, Ms Foti said it is her belief the late-night studies and the sleepless nights have finally paid off for her.
"A shout out to my parents, and families for the support and for praying so that my studies will end successfully.
“They are the reasons why I am here today. I am emotionally speechless today for all the years of hard work have paid off.”
The N.U.S. graduation last Thursday marked the first in-person graduation since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were imposed by the local authorities in March last year.