Achieving NCEA levels 1, 2 or 3 in one year is no easy feat, let alone altogether, and during the middle of a pandemic. Yet that’s exactly what former Sacred Heart College student Selina Tasi did.
The 18-year-old moved to New Zealand from Samoa with her younger sister in 2019 to live with her aunt and adoptive mother - following her parent’s wish for her to achieve a better education.
Her first year at Sacred Heart College was focused on improving her English which is her second language.
In her final year of high school last year, Selina passed NCEA levels 1, 2, and 3 and achieved University Entrance.
Her marks have enabled her to embark on a three-year Bachelor of Applied Hospitality and Tourism Management at the Pacific International Hotel Management School in New Plymouth.
Selina says she wouldn’t know where she’d be with her studies if it weren’t for her teachers’ support.
Initially, her low-self belief in her ability meant she did not believe she would be capable of pursuing tertiary education.
As the year progressed, she began to accept what her teachers had believed from the beginning – that she was more than capable, and could do anything she put her mind to.
“I didn't think I would be able to do it because I didn't think I was good enough to get in. But halfway through last year, I thought if I can do two years in college, I can do another three years if I just push myself. So it was a long journey to get here but I made it.”
Covid-19 last year added an extra challenge to what she was trying to achieve as she did not find lockdown conducive to learning.
“After the lockdown, I had to catch up. But my teachers would always say: ‘You can do it. We believe in you’.”
While Selina is grateful for the education she has received at Sacred Heart College and in New Zealand, her heart is still in Samoa where she plans to return after her degree to start her own business.
Her vision is to have a hotel in New Zealand, and one in Samoa, which are linked together.
Principal Maria Neville-Foster said the school was very proud of Selina.
“Selina has shown that commitment to studies and hard work can reap tremendous rewards. We wish her all the best in her tertiary education.”