Samoan Community Values Drive Nursing Student To Succeed

03 Jul 2014

Determined to follow her passion and make a difference in her Samoan community, New Zealand-born Lilly White-Ofisa moved her family from Auckland to Rotorua so she could attend Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Aside from having an inspirational mother, the driving force behind Lilly’s move to go back to tertiary study in Rotorua was “. . . hearing so many stories that Waiariki offered the country’s best nursing training.”

After gaining a Health Care Assistant Certificate from Manukau Institute of Technology, Lilly was keen to do further study to extend her nursing knowledge but parenthood intervened. Now in her second year of study for her nursing degree, the 30-year-old is also studying for a Certificate of Travel. Ultimately she hopes to combine the two areas of interest and travel to developing countries to work in community health.

Doing full-time study with two youngsters (six and one) requires a supportive partner and family “. . . but it’s worth it to be a good role for my children.” 

“Mum has a degree in early childhood education so she is my inspiration. She encouraged and motivated me to move to Rotorua so I could learn from the best possible tutors.

“I really enjoy studying at Waiariki; I loved it right from the very first day even although I was sacred of the expectations being placed on me. The tutors, the atmosphere, and the student support all combined to melt away my fears and give me the confidence to ask questions, to believe I could achieve my goals, and that I could make a difference to the health of Auckland’s Samoan community, particularly in the area of diabetes treatment and education.”

Staying focused and working hard for good grades meant Lilly secured a two-year PIPEF (Pacific Islands Polynesian Education Foundation) scholarship toward her course expenses.

The institute has earned an A+ mark from Lilly, and she shares her enthusiasm for Waiariki on Facebook on a regular basis; her way of motivating other potential students. 

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Page last updated: 02 May 2017