Pacific Horizons graduates largest class yet

ese@samoanews.com

On Friday evening last week, Pacific Horizons School kicked off the high school graduation season this year with its biggest graduating class yet – 9 seniors- bidding farewell and turning their tassels to open a new chapter in their lives.

Pacific Horizons School mission is to equip students to achieve personal, educational, and professional goals.

The graduation ceremony was filled with close friends and families at the Lupelele Church of Christ in Iliili.

William Shanahan delivered this year’s keynote address. Shanahan who is a teacher at Pacific Horizons School, students describe him as chill, supportive and math genius.

Delivering his keynote address, Shanahan said, “Pacific Horizons is a special place and that has made Samoa an even more special place.”

“These kids are torchbearers, they are the hope for the future, they are the people who will change the future, they are for the better, they are the ones to find the cure for cancer and to make a better place.”

He also said he heard in his class how some students said they are not ready to graduate. “I’m here to inform you, you will never be ready for something that happens in your life. Your 4 years in college you will not feel ready, a few years later you may not be ready to get married, you may not feel ready to accept that huge promotion. Most of us feel that way.”

Mr Shanahan shared tips on what to do such as, you are free to do whatever you like to do don’t sit in your room and stare at a computer, this will get you joy, strength and what you need in life. Get out there and engage yourself with real people like dedicated people (fellow students, coworkers, musicians etc) the world is full of amazing people and they are there to help you. Stretch your mind and make it happen. Lifelong learning starts now. You just finish high school but theres so much more to learn in life. See who you are and who your becoming and don’t sell yourself short. He also encouraged the students to stay healthy and fit. This will help with spiritual strengths in times of stress, in times of confusion and anxiety. You need to tell yourself you’re a fighter… get out there and do it…convince yourself to do it..

Then he concluded, “Get out there and do some real things, get out there and travel, study abroad. There are plenty of opportunities out there and don’t forget to do your push-ups.”

Each student was accepted in different colleges off-island.

According to Principal Caroline Tuiolosega, Sharon-Netosi Ah Ping will be attending Harding University in Arkansas where she will be studying nutrition and dietetics. Sharon is the recipient of several scholarships from Harding: the Academic Promise Grant, the President’s Grant, and The Stephens Grant covering over 50% of her tuition for the next 4 years. In addition, Sharon is a recipient of the ASG Scholarship for off-island 4-year colleges.

Nina Bianca Lucero Vergara has been accepted and will be attending Portland University in the fall as a nursing major. She is the recipient of Portland University's President’s Scholarship that will cover half of her tuition and fees for the next 4 years.

Jack Wilson Tuiolosega is considering pursuing degrees in both chemistry and education. He will be attending Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the fall and is the recipient of the Dartmouth General Scholarship, which covers Tuition and Fees, Housing, and Food at this prestigious institution for the next 4 years. 

 Alec Makisi Corry has been accepted and will be attending Brigham Young University - Hawaii as computer engineering major in the fall.  

Charles Etimani Feleti plans to relocate to Long Beach, California after graduation where he plans to attend Long Beach City College and pursue degrees in Hotel Management and Interior Design.

 Michael Stanley Galea’i is the recipient of St. Martin’s Dean’s Scholarship. He plans, however, to stay here in The Pacific and attend the University of Hawaii, Manoa in the spring where he will pursue a degree in engineering. 

 Brian Anthony Perez Serrano plans to pursue a degree in engineering. He will be relocating to the Philippines this June and plans to attend the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

Congratulations Pacific Horizons Class of 2017! Malo lava!