Improving the Pacific Rim One Information Systems Student at a Time
February 15, 2013
Patrick Taufa, a native of Nuku‘alofa, Tonga, dreamed of attending BYU-Hawaii ever since he was a child. “My parents met at BYU-Hawaii, and growing up we had a picture of the Laie Temple in our living room. It had always been a dream of mine to come here,” says Patrick. After serving in the Australia Brisbane Mission, Patrick was accepted to BYU-Hawaii.
Thanks to the university’s I-WORK program, Patrick, an Information Systems major, began school almost immediately after his mission. The I-WORK program assists students from the Pacific Rim in obtaining a college education, debt free, so they can return home and begin improving their countries and families - and strengthening the kingdom of God.
“I’m so grateful for the I-WORK scholarship,” says Patrick. “I know if it was not for this program I would have never been able to support myself financially through school.” Patrick and his twin brother, David, are the youngest of four. Three of them are current BYU-Hawaii students.
Working as a student supervisor of events and serving in his ward, Patrick feels “so blessed to be here at BYU-Hawaii.” After graduation in April he will return to Tonga and work for two years, after which he plans to further his education in graphic design, his real passion.
“I’m taking a few graphic design classes right now, and I just love it. I want to keep going and learn as much as I can,” says Patrick with a grin. In his humble and calming demeanor, Patrick frequently thanks the donors who helped fund his college experience. “I wish I could meet all of them, every one, and thank them for their generosity and willingness to help. I would have never been able to graduate without them.” In return Patrick plans one day to give back to students like himself and help them fulfill their dreams.
If you would like to help other students like Patrick at BYU-Hawaii, please consider using the donation link below to contribute to the I-WORK Program.
Hundreds of miles away from her home in Ulaanbaatar, Buyanerdene Chimedregzen shouted aloud with joy when she received news of her acceptance to Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
Her three long, grueling years of studying English through the university’s online program were paying off: her dream of studying at BYU-Hawaii had finally come true.