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Samoan women determined to make noise in a ‘man’s world’

Manatuaafiaisionavao and Leilani

Avondale, ARIZONATwo Samoan females have completed a program dominated for years by males, and they have excelled, graduating from Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Arizona.

Manatuaafiaisionavao Grace Leutu Taaseu Ifopo and Leilani Mariah Tupulua received their Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Automotive and Diesel Technology last Friday, Dec. 13th in the presence of family and friends.

Manatuaafiaisionavao is the daughter of the late La’auli and Lanuola Ifopo of Fagatogo, Leone, and Tafuna. She was raised by her aunty Puamemea Ifopo. When asked about her future plans, Manatuaafiaisionavao said she wants to pursue a career in the automotive field (technician) in the military, particularly the United States Air Force.

Manatuaafiaisionavao Grace Leutu Taaseu Ifopo (kneeling, center) with her proud family, following the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) graduation ceremony. [photo: courtesy]

Leilani is the daughter of Christine Laban-Tupulua and Logologo Pili Tupulua of Aoloau  and Luatuānuu in Apia, Samoa.

The two girls are both graduates of Nuuuli Vocational Technical High School (NVTHS) and were roommates at UTI. In addition to getting their degrees, Manatuaafiaisionavao and Leilani both graduated as members of the Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society, Diesel Dark Side and All Data.

Congratulations Manatuaafiaisionavao and Leilani. Malo lava le finau!