UPY Dux, Vensel Margraff pictured with his parents, Saliloimanatu and Dennis Margraff
By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 14 DECEMBER 2017: Vensell Julian Rapi Margraff is UPY Dux 2017, and being a top student is not something new for the 17 year old from Siusega.
In a packed graduation ceremony this week, Vensell Margraff scooped 6 main awards being first in Chemistry, Human Biology, first equal in Physics, top equal in Foundation Mathematics, top overall Science student and Top Student Overall in the Foundation Programme.
“Glory be to God,” says his proud grandfather, Mataia Vensell Margraff.
“I am so proud of him, and ever since he was in year 5 to year 13 last year at Robert Louis Stevenson College, he has never come second.”
Magraff also topped the Secondary School Leaving Certificate SSLC last year.
“My achievements from Primary to College years will not be possible without the hard work and dedication and with the Lord by my side. Those were the two main aspects that kept me going.”
Vensell Julian is now setting his mind to become a doctor. “Initially I wanted to take civil engineering, but I was motivated to take human biology because I want to contribute in saving lives of our people, so I will study medicine at Otago University next year.”
Despite pursuing his career as a doctor, Vensell has other plans, and that is to enter politics.
“I always look forward to become a politician in the future. I want to be the people’s voice.”
He said he was motivated from a seminar he participated during the SIDS conference and he had learned of the struggles and needs the Samoan people are through climate change and domestic violence, and he wants to contribute in any kind of form in alleviating these problems.
About 500 graduates from the 6 Faculties under the Foundation Programme received their certificates of attainments that will take them to the degree level, either by achieving an overseas scholarship, or at the National University of Samoa at Lepapaigalagala.
The guest speaker, Tofa Teleiai Dr Lalotoa Sinaalamaimaleula Ropi Mulitalo Seumanutafa, who is also the Executive Director of Samoa Law Reform Commission told the graduates, “no matter what kind of a family background you are from, weather you are from a struggling family in the village, God has your future plan out for you, and it is for you to do your part.”
As Vensell Julian encouraging message to all the graduates “Limitation is a figment of imagination. Learn to struggle beyond your rights and exceed expectations, be the person that thinks outside the box, be the person that stands out of the crowd, and it is better to live in a world that is full of satisfaction than a life that is full of regrets.”
There were 84 graduates from the Faculty of Arts with Grace Fa’aiuga as the top student. 66 Foundation Certificate in Commerce with top student Gustina Lee. 190 general students with Xavier Tanielu as the top student. 63 Nursing students with Talalelei Leitupo as top student and 80 Faculty of Science Students with top student Vensell Julian Rapi Margraff.
Special Prize Awards
- Late Hon. Lauofo Meti Memorial Award for Top Foundation Arts Student: Grace Faaiuga
- SSAB Trophy for Top Foundation Accounting Student: Ronella Leipu Mose Taiatu
- Central Bank of Samoa’s Trophy for Top Foundation Economics Student: Solialofi Potoi
- World Bank Group Trophy for Top Equal Foundation Management Student: Laila Stanley, Laura Alama, Romario Pose.
- Mataafa Desmond Amosa Prize Award and Cash Prize for Top Foundation Law Student: Aunoa Uele
- BDO Samoa’s Trophy for top foundation Commerce Student: Gustina Lee
- Aeau Chris Hazelman’s trophy for top Foundation Education Student: Mariana Luteru
- Faculty of Educations Trophy for Top Student in Education: Mariana Luteru
- Faculty of Health Sciences Trophy & $200 tala for Top Faoundation Biology Student: Jachelean Manamea Rivers
- SSAB & 200 tala voucher & trophy and Patrick Buckley $200 tala cash for Top Foundation Chemistry student: Vensel Julian Rapi Margraff
- Business Systems Lts Trophy $200 tala Voucher for Top Foundation Technology Student: Harley Cronin
- Business Systems Ltd Trophy & $200 tala voucher for top equal foundation physics students: Vensel Julian Rapi Margraff and Harley Cronin.
- Late Fuimaono Folomalo Toelupes Memorial Trophy for top equal Foundation students in Mathematics: Harley Cronin & Vensel Julian Margraff
- SROS Trophy and Plaque for top Overall Foundation Science Student: Vensel Margraff
Hon. Misa Telefoni Retzlaff’s Trophy and Cash Prize award for Top Student Overall – Foundation Programme: Vensel Julian Rapi Margraff.