Bachelor of Social Work.

What inspired you to study social work?

The ideas behind social work were illustrated to me from a young age. I was surrounded by family, friends and a community that uplifted young people. I thought, “I want to do something like that”.

Why did you decide to come to UC?

In high school, I joined the XL programme run by the UC Pacific Development Team. I loved being surrounded by a team that cares for youth and wants to help them succeed. I realised UC was a really positive environment and I wanted to be part of it!

Did you kick off uni with an Emerging Leaders scholarship?

I did! We did a leaders development programme, which covered different aspects of leadership such as service in the community, sports leadership and cultural leadership. It equipped me very well for what I hope to do after I get my degree.

And you’ve been on the exec as well?

Yes, I've been on the exec team for two years. It's amazing. I really enjoy connecting with students from other years. That experience has taught me to stand up for myself and be really intentional with the leadership roles I take on and the relationships I develop.

"As a Pasifika student, I can 100% say that UC embraces diversity."

What other UC organisations have you been involved with?

I've worked as a tutor with the Pacific Development Team. It feels great to give back. It’s also created a sense of identity for me, as a Tongan growing up in New Zealand, to help not just Tongans but other ethnicities as well.

How would you describe “UC diversity”?

It’s amazing. Wherever you come from, everybody's here on a journey together. UC definitely supports multicultural students and those from other countries. As a Pasifika student, I can 100% say that UC embraces diversity.

Looking ahead – what would you like to do with your degree?

I want to give back to my community, working with Pasifika kids who are on the streets or in Youth Justice Residences. My degree has really opened my eyes. Now I'm on advisory panels in Wellington, I mentor in high schools... Social work has created so many opportunities for me – and they’re all so rewarding, it’s hard to choose!