Va’a Reuben Koale
Va'a is completed the Tertiary Foundation Certificate programme in 2022 and is currently a stduent in the Bachelor of Social Work programme next year. He took part in UniBound Summer as a student in 2022 and then as a mentor in 2023.
“As a previous teacher aide, I have dealt with young students who face holistic challenges day in and out, a matter I feel can be mitigated by providing safe, open and inclusive environments. Being in that space surfaces the importance of obtaining a social work qualification, so I am well equipped with the necessary tools to foster safe, inclusive and culturally responsive spaces for the younger generation.
“I want to work in different communities to get familiar with the different sorts of situations that kids nowadays face. So becoming a social worker will help me to help those in need of a role model or person they could rely on.”
“UniBound made me feel more comfortable attending a university I had never been to and equipped me with the knowledge I never thought I needed. It has boosted my confidence in being who I am and given me the strength to get out of my comfort zone and try new things.”
“One highlight of UniBound would be the workshops that we were able to attend. It gave me a wider range of options I could pursue in university. Another highlight was sports day because it showed me how competitive and fun our cohort of 2022 was.
“I have enjoyed doing the Tertiary Foundation Certificate because it helped me figure out my ‘why’ in attending university. TFC is a course that I encourage everyone to take if they feel unsure of what they want to pursue in university. University is not for everyone, but doing that course has opened my eyes to what I can achieve within my years at the University.
“One thing I love about my program is the connection I have with my fellow peers. The laughs and late-night studies we have just to ensure we hand in our work on time created a bond that cannot be broken.
“The most valuable thing I am getting from my studies is knowledge from different teachers. Their knowledge has helped me throughout my course and has definitely prepared me for when I pursue my Bachelor of Social Work next year.”