Tuasivi College dux leans on faith
Lucilla Nu'ulelei's repeatedly turned to a Bible verse to steer her through an often challenging academic journey this year in which she unexpectedly reached new heights.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13.
And on Friday, the eighteen-year-old was proof of the motivating power of scripture when she was named the dux for Tuasivi College's graduating class of 2020, during a prize giving service held at the school's hall.
The second child out of Palo and Saio's five children from the village of Faga in Savai'i says she dedicates her success to grandparents, Mafa and Nu'ulelei, whom she said were her inspirations.
"Last year, I came 6th in our class," she told the Samoa Observer.
"So when I started this year, it was my goal to become the dux for our school, as my way of thanking my grandparents for raising me all these years.
"So today, I am grateful to our Heavenly Father for guiding me this far."
The timid teen fought to hold back tears as she took a look back at her academic journey at Tuasivi College.
"It hasn't been easy," the emotional Ms. Nu'ulelei uttered.
"There were so many obstacles to overcome, and there were times when I felt like throwing in the towel. But as I see my grandparents growing old and constantly praying for me, it was the main motivating factor for me.
"It gave me the strength to continue and I am here today because of their prayers and hard work."
Ms. Nu'ulelei also topped Mathematics, Economics, and Accounting.
She is hoping to become a bank teller in the future.
While Ms. Nu'ulelei says she is ready for the next big step of her academic journey, she vows to give it her all for the upcoming national Samoa Secondary Leaving Certificate examinations.
"I know there will be more challenges and obstacles ahead as I move to University next year.
"But for now, my eyes are set on our national exams and I will give it my best and let God do the rest.
"I want to do well so I can score good marks to enter University, therefore, I will study hard and rely on God because I truly believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."