My sister friend Asena was so kind to invite me to participate in the KOAU program. In Tongan, the word "koau" is said in response to when your name is called. Very powerful!
STEP (Saturday Tongan Education Program) at Pomona College hosted this wonderful Pacific Islander educational program on May 7, 2017.
Unfortunately, I was not be able to attend. But they were so awesome to include my educational biography:
Ruby Fanaika Fa’agau
My calling came early in life when I was a teen. I noticed in my American social studies class that Polynesians were absent in the American narrative, and absent in politics and law. I felt an imprint in my heart to pursue a career in law. But I did not have the environment or mentors to instruct me on a direct path into law school. Nevertheless, I thank God for my Tongan mother who always saw my potential. She was my only cheerleader for a very long time.
Part of my journey has been coming to terms with the Polynesian dynamic of intuition. We have an inner knowing that has allowed us to survive tsunamis, take care of our families and village, voyage across waters, and host big celebrations wherever we go. But growing up in the diaspora, I had to reacquaint myself with this strength. It was my intuition that pulled me forward when others did not believe in me, and it has been my intuition that has guided me into law school and now through it. As I get ready to graduate, I have many cheerleaders who are excited to celebrate this next chapter with me. If they knew how far I’ve come, then they would understand why I feel blessed.
And they took time to discuss my children story, "Maka and the Impossible", with the kids. (See photo below)
I'm so grateful for these wonderful connections. I met Asena through my law school classmate and friend, Olavo. The world proved to be even smaller when Asena and I discovered we were actually related. Tokousos for life <3