Arieta graduates without mum

Naviri Arieta Maramanitukuna with her spoils and father Setareki Naviri of Toga. Picture: Nilam kumar

ARIETA Maramanitukuna said she prayed to God to keep her mother alive after she was diagnosed with cancer.

The DAV College student said she wanted her mum to see her graduate from high school.

When her mother passed away in July this year, Ms Maramanitukuna said she almost opted out of school.

Despite being devastated with the loss of her strongest supporter, the 18-year-old decided to honour her mother by focusing on her studies.

Last Friday, the Year 13 student was awarded the dux of her school.

“She was my pillar of strength,” she said. “It was heartbreaking for me but I had to keep working hard to fulfil my mother’s dreams.”

Ms Maramanitukuna said her mother had always reminded her that the hope of her family was in the bag she carried to school every day.

“The various hardships that I have encountered in life have made me a better person.”

Ms Maramanitukuna said there was no secret to academic success, just commitment and sacrifice.

“I would like to encourage my fellow schoolmates to work hard and focus on their dreams.”

The Navatuyaba, Rewa native said she would continue to work hard for the betterment of her siblings and her father.

She said she had dreams of becoming an accountant and would further her studies at the Fiji National University in Nasinu.

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