Junior reporter tops media programme
The graduation might have been a bit strange but graduating as a top student will always be among the best feelings ever.
Just ask 21-year-old Vaelei Von Dincklage, of Luatuanu’u and she will tell you all about it.
The proud granddaughter of the late A’eau and Selapi Aviu was named the top student of the Diploma in Media and Journalism Programme at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) during the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (T.V.E.T and Faculty of Education) graduation on Thursday.
Due to the coronavirus state of emergency restrictions, the usual graduation ceremony was replaced by a simple announcement on the radio and T.V.
The graduates were later asked to obtain their qualifications from the University's office.
Ms. Von Dincklage said the feeling was strange but she understood why the decision was made.
“First of all, we're just grateful to the man above for we made it this far," she said.
"It is every student’s dream to graduate in a proper graduation with our parents witnessing the moment with us, given the struggles we went through with our studies for years.
“It was not only my dream to walk up that podium but it was especially my grandparents and mom’s dreams to see me in a gown. After all, they are the ones that struggled more to support our education.”
The top student said her family was looking forward to the occasion, which was first postponed last year due to the measles crisis.
“Graduation is always taken seriously in our family. It’s something our parents look forward to but if it’s for the safety of the general public then I guess this is it.”
Ms. Von Dincklage said her time at the Media and Journalism Programme has helped prepare her for her journey ahead. She is grateful for everyone who helped her along the way.
Working as a Junior Reporter at the Samoa Observer, she wants to learn as much as she can so she could progress in her chosen career.
“This is my time to pay back my debts to my mom and my grandparents especially for my grandfather who has passed away," she said.