Definitely getting my PhD scholarship! My involvement with the Pacifica community has given me some amazing opportunities.
I grew up in a small town on the West Coast where I didn't get to explore any of my cultural heritage. When I came to UC I got an invite to a Pacifica orientation. I stepped into a room full of people with the same sense of humour and love of food as me! I felt completely at home for once. It was such a welcoming environment.
Yes, we help first year Pacifica students integrate into uni life. Sometimes it can be hard for newcomers because they have different upbringings and cultural values. A lot come straight from the islands. Our role is to be a friendly face and help them ease into uni. I also help out with tons of Pacifica events. Food, sport, talent – we have heaps!
Amazing. There's such a wide range of people here. It's a very diverse and tolerant campus.
"I stepped into a room full of people with the same sense of humour and love of food as me! I felt completely at home for once."
In second year I took a course on the environment. That course completely changed my life! It was absolutely eye-opening. Nothing was sugar-coated. I became really passionate about global warming, which is a very real issue especially in the Pacific region. Our cultures will literally disappear if we don't act.
It gave me a sense that I have a really important role to play. Suddenly it became a question of ‘what can I do'? I became president of Fossil Free UC and decided to pursue my PhD. I want to make a difference as fast as I can.
It encourages you to question everything. Learning here isn't about regurgitation, it unlocks your desire to think. The world needs different modes of thinking. I am grateful every day to be able to do what I want, to make a difference and be supported on my journey.