Student Success supported by Alignz / Tupu Aotearoa Program.

“I went from having a fixed mindset, to changing the way I viewed the real world” Fuifale Tyrell said, as we sat for breakfast to interview her on her recent experience completing the Tupu Aotearoa Program run by Alignz Recruitment. Fale is a 17-year-old Samoan, born and raised in Hamilton, NZ and who believes in taking every opportunity life gives you. Fale comes from a large family background with roots in the Waikato area. She is an active member of the Hamilton Samoan Methodist Church, is the eldest and only daughter in her family; and has three younger brothers who she actively looks out for.

She initially heard about Tupu Aotearoa through a family member and joined up knowing she could benefit from the initiative funded by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and the Provincial Growth Fund.. She is passionate about giving back to the people who helped raise her to be the woman she is; and to serve people and her community. The main aspect that drives her to work hard is her parents; and being able to make them proud and contribute to her family. Although Fale is introverted and reserved in person, she is a very deep, genuine, compassionate and intelligent young women, who has a heart for her Samoan people.

When she first heard about the Program, her initial thoughts were that it was like any other school-based program or environment. However, after participating and going through the Tupu Aotearoa program with Alignz Recruitment, the realities of the course was so much more than her initial expectations. “It was different because it was more based on your life. On you as a person” Fale shared during the interview, “The biggest learnings I took away from the program was the growth mindset aspect. I always had a fixed mindset. This helped change how I viewed the real world… and see things in a different perspective”.

An aspect the Tupu Aotearoa Program covers is “Fixed v Growth Mindset” by Dr Carol Dweck, which focuses on developing student’s self-belief that their skills can be developed through hard work and dedication- 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. “I was even talking to Koula [another graduate student] the other day, and we were talking about fixed and growth mindset, and how we use it every day”.

The Program offered Fale assistance with her Personal Development Plan, assessing career options and completing her application for further education at University. The Program also assisted with scholarship options and submitting applications. Fale has successfully been accepted into the University of Waikato to study a Bachelor of Arts double majoring in Anthropology and Sociology. We are also proud to hear of her recent achievement of receiving the Pacific Excellence Scholarship which offers her $10k for her course of study. She has also gained her learners license through the Program.

For anyone thinking of joining the Tupu Aotearoa Program, Fale’s advice is to “Just take it all in. Really use it. Its not like anything you expect.” Fale was an exemplary student who we look forward to seeing grow and succeed during her studies. It is also great to hear that post-training, her and other students still use the learnings they gained through the Program.