“I went from having a fixed mindset, to changing the way I viewed the real world,” the 17-year-old says.
Of Samoan descent, but born and raised in Hamilton, New Zealand, Fuaifale believes in taking every opportunity life offers up.
The aim of Tupu Aotearoa is to reduce the number of Pacific young people not in employment, education or training in the targeted regions where Pacific communities live.
“Initially, I thought the programme would be similar to other school-based programmes,” she shares.
However, after participating and going through the Tupu Aotearoa programme with Alignz Recruitment, the realities of the course were so much more than her initial expectations.
“It was different because it was more based on your life, on you as a person,” Fuaifale says.
The Hamilton-based Alignz Recruitment is an employment service, which offers temporary, contract and permanent opportunities, while also delivering recruitment and staffing solutions in trade, industrial and commercial industries.
As a Tupu Aotearoa provider, it has offered Fuaifale assistance with her personal development plan, assessing career options and completing her application for further education at university.
One aspect Tupu Aotearoa covers is Fixed versus Growth Mindset, by Dr Carol Dweck.
This topic focuses on developing student’s self-belief; that their skills can be developed through hard work and dedication; and brains and talent are just a starting point.
This creates a love for learning in all situations and in different ways; it also helps build resilience and overcome challenges which leads to higher achievements.
Viewing the world with a growth mindset and from a different perspective, is the key lesson Fuaifale has taken away from the programme.
“I was talking to another graduate student Koula the other day, and we were talking about fixed and growth mindset, and how we use it every day,” Fuaifale says.
The programme also assisted with scholarship options and submitting applications, and since completing the programme, Fuaifale has successfully been accepted into the University of Waikato to study a Bachelor of Arts double majoring in Anthropology and Sociology.
Most recently, Fuaifale has received the Pacific Excellence Scholarship, which offers her $10,000 for her course of study.
For anyone thinking of participating in the Tupu Aotearoa programme, Fuaifale’s advice is to just take it all in.
“Really use it – it is not like anything you expect.”