I always say that I survived a system. A system which was set up to disempower our people. I challenged those barriers. I walked across the stage at my graduation wearing a korowai that was made for my grandfather when he passed away. That was both a privilege and an honour and it was the beginning of my journey to serve my whanau and tipuna before me.
This western notion of having a ‘degree’ is not how I measure success. My success is the impact I have on my whanau and the people around me. What you instil in people and how you can change and improve the lives of others, that is success.
I was raised by two hard-working Maori parents and my whole life has been filled with strong and amazing people who have invested in me. I know that this is just the beginning of where the real work begins, there is so much good to do out there.