When one journey ends, another one begins.
That is precisely the case for 17-year-old Ketesemane Molia Taioalo who is more than ready to embark on a new journey.
Ketesemane is one of the fortunate Foundation students who have been awarded scholarships to further their studies overseas. He is off to Australia to study for a Bachelor in Environmental Science.
Ketesemane is the youngest son of Molia and Lilian Taioalo’s three children. He hails from the villages of Salelologa, Matatufu and Lalomanu.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Ketesemane admits that like anything in life, getting to where he is right now was no smooth ride.
“Well any journey to success would not be complete without hardships and difficulties, and such was the case for mine,” he said.
“Fortunately, my God was with me all the way and I wouldn’t be here without Him. N.U.S. life is not easy especially if your goals include securing a scholarship. You have to work really hard and being smart alone isn’t enough.
“It is indeed difficult but prayers and fasting is what got me through and to where I am today.
“Also, not forgetting the constant biblical and personal advices and encouragement from my parents as well as words of encouragement from my brother and sister, which helped me, push through during times when I wanted to give up or just slacked off.”
Ketesemane said securing a scholarship was a dream come true.
“Growing up, I would often hear about students getting scholarships to study overseas and I always found it impressive and cool.
“Back then, the thought that I myself will one day fight for that scholarship never crossed my mind.
“Honestly, starting form 6, I began to dream of studying overseas, particularly in Australia. Now, that I am going, the thought is still surreal and I would often be surprised myself every time someone mentions it.”
And where does he draw his inspiration?
“I guess it’s that understanding that if you want to make it in today’s world, to go places and make your family proud you need a good education.
“So I try to do my best in school, hoping that someday I also may also be successful and that I too can make my family proud, for the Glory of the Lord.
“Also, I have always been inspired by people in my family, especially those who have been successful in their studies or workplace. If I may, one particular relative who has inspired me a lot is my late uncle, Police commissioner Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo. With little tertiary education, he managed to work his way to the very top and became Police Commissioner.
“His determination and his hard work have not only inspired me but many others in my family, to do our best in our chosen careers.”
Asked about his plans for the future and for the next chapter of his academic life, Ketesemane said, “I am excited about this new season in my life.
“It will be totally different and strange and especially being away from home and families.
“But I am also excited to see what God has in store for me when I leave.
“Already I have seen Him move through this scholarship because honestly, to get an all-paid-for education in a prestigious tertiary institution abroad is a true blessing. There will be tears come the day I leave, but because God is with me, I will not fear.
“Looking ahead, after Uni, I will return to Samoa not only to work but also to make a difference in our nation in the chosen field. However, I would also like to get a higher education after a few years of work experience, later, if God allows it, I also plan to work abroad.”
And what is his dream job for the future?
“I have always wanted to be a lawyer but due to certain circumstances this would have to be on hold for now.
“However, in Samoa and all throughout the world, I saw the need in the field of environmental science as well as sustainability and after much prayers and thought I decided to pursue this.”
Ketesemane has one sister, Miracle Talaole Taioalo and one brother, Tupe Elia Taioalo. He enjoys playing musical instrument (guitar and piano), playing rugby and volleyball and especially spending time with family.