Tuai Tunai

A Hopeful Journey

Tuai Tunai
Lincoln High School, 2007
Dominican University, 2011 – Nursing

My name is Faatuaitua Tunai, and I come from a very religious and cultural family. My father is a truck driver and my mother had been living in Samoa for the past 10 years of my life. Growing up in the low-income housing projects of Bayview Hunters Point was challenging. Living in an atmosphere full of crime, illegal acts, violence and drugs, my motivation to succeed was always my main priority. I did not wan to be another statistic, so I always pushed myself.

I wanted to go to college to empower myself, my family, friends and church. Not only did I want to make my family’s struggle to come to America worth it,but I also wanted to motivate the children in my neighborhood to finish college. Keeping up with my tuition was a struggle. At times, my father wasn’t able to pay my tuition on time; I was automatically dropped from my classes until it was paid-off. Despite these challenges, I reminded myself to keep a positive attitude. I am thrilled to have graduated in fall 2011 with a major in nursing, and my dream is to become a registered nurse.

The Meritus Program has made a huge impact on my life. The financial support has helped me in so many ways and I am grateful. The personal support has been incredible. The constant support makes me feel as if they are rooting for me. Last but not least, Meritus always reminds me to never forget where I came from and always remember to give back.