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Josephine Laulu tops Maluafou College

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TOP STUDENT: Josephine Laulu with her family and friends.A year of struggles and hard work at Maluafou College has wrapped up, with a prize giving held to celebrate the end of the academic journey for 2015.

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The school hall was packed with all the families and friends of the students joining the celebration on Monday.

Reverend Palemia Tauili’ili from the Congregational Christian Church of Samalaeulu conducted a small service to start the celebration, followed by the keynote address, which was delivered by Reverend Vavatau Taufao.

The Schools Director for the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa reminded the students that education was their pathway to success.

He congratulated the graduates and teachers for this year’s work and urged them to keep on “striving for the best”.

Having said that, he told the audience that, like Martin Luther King, he has a dream for Maluafou College.

“I have a dream that one day Maluafou College will rise up above all schools in Samoa.”

He believed that his dream will be achieved if the students, teachers and parents work hand in hand with prayer and hard work as their main weapon. Excitement and joyful spirits bubbled over as prize getters received their awards. However, nothing beat the loud shouts from the parents and family of 16-yearold Josephine Laulu from Moamoa, who was named the top student of this year. She was also the top art student and took away five trophies.

Speaking to Samoa Observer, she said she felt “blessed” by the honour. “All thanks and glory be with our God, for He made this happen for me,” she said.

TOP YEAR 9 Level: Melisha Toetu with her family.She thanked her family and her parents for supporting her throughout her academic journey at Maluafou College.

“It was a tough ride filled with challenges,” she said.

Proud mother Alisi Matiasi Laulu of Moamoa said the family did not expect Josephine to walk away as top student for the year. However, she believed her daughter had reaped what she sowed.

She recalled the countless times she had sat from afar, watching her daughter struggle doing her homework throughout the year.

“She had sleepless nights,” she said. “I’ve witnessed her struggle, trying to finish her assignments and having stayed up all night studying.”

The mother said she told her off a number of times for staying up late and not getting enough sleep.

TOP COMMERCE STUDENT AND SECOND RUNNER UP: Faiava Tolupeni with his mother Susana Tolupeni, (second from the left) with Tunema Sani and Viola Sani.“Sometimes I get really angry at her for not listening to us.”

At the same time, the proud parent said she was praying to God, asking Him to guide her daughter and make her dreams come true.

The top student told the Samoa Observer that she is now ready to begin her next journey.

She said she wants to be a lawyer and will do anything to make that happen.

“Growing up, I have always been a witness of arguments over land and title within my extended family,” she said.

She believed that her way of helping to put an end to her family’s disputes was by pursuing her dream as a lawyer.

“I will go for it, knowing that Our Heavenly Father has got my back, [and] I believe that with him, everything is possible.”Josephine Laulu tops Maluafou College.

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