Posts tagged Tongan
First-Generation Tongan Law Student, Jullian Sekona | Breaking Pacific Islander Stereotypes

First-generation law student, Jullian Sekona, shares her experience as the only Tongan at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Currently employed at Barulich Dugoni and Suttmann Law Group, Inc. in San Mateo, she hopes to see more Pacific scholars pursuing law degrees in order to provide more resources and representation for their community.

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Tongan PhD in Developmental Studies, Faka'iloatonga Taumoefolau | “Remember that college isn’t the only means to a fulfilling life”

Tongan PhD candidate, Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau, shares his academic path throughout the South Pacific, motivations for pursuing graduate degrees and advice for students pursuing higher education.

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Tongan EdD Student and Gates Millennium Scholar, Anita Kiteau-Tuiaki | Conducting Research on the First-Year Experience of Pacific Islander College Students

Raised by her maternal grandparents in Tonga, Anita shares her experience transitioning to school in the U.S., drawing motivation to pursue higher education from her elders, and receiving the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship to fund her college and graduate degrees. Now in her last year of her EdD program at Northcentral University, she looks forward to sharing her research on the first-year college experience of Pacific Islanders in order to find ways to increase their college graduation rates.

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Tongan software engineer, Ikani Samani: “I came from nothing, but education was the great equalizer”

Ikani Samani believes young Pacific Islanders have limitless career potential. After growing up in poverty and briefly pursuing a college football scholarship, Ikani decided to break the Polynesian athlete stereotype and pursue a career in software engineering. After graduating from Utah Valley University with a B.S. in Computer Software Engineering, he worked for 5 years as a successful software engineer. He is now pursuing his MBA at BYU while working full-time at WeWork. He hopes to mentor young Pacific Islanders interested in tech and empower students to find a skill that will make them valuable to their community.

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