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Vaifoa Lam Sam

Vaifoa’s story

2020 Scholarship Recipient

Vaifoa Lam Sam is studying at AUT to pursue a career in tech with a dream of one day working in the gaming, animation and design industries. He was born in Sāmoa and moved from Apia to Auckland at four years old with his family. His parents wanted to create a better life for their ten children to grow and succeed in New Zealand where Vaifoa discovered his love for art, and later design and technology. 

In his last year of high school, Vaifoa started doing art commissions and is passionate about developing his creativity and sharing his art with others. 

Vaifoa’s Sāmoan heritage is important to him and wants to see representation of Pacific people in Tech grow to be truly reflective of Aotearoa. Vaifoa would love to see a more inclusive Tech sector, with people accepting each other's differences and working together. 

Vaifoa believes that barriers that exist to pursue a pathway into Technology are due to a lack in access to resources and beliefs held that ‘ as Pacific people we’re not good enough’ to be in the Technology sector. Vaifoa is an inspiring leader in changing such stereotypes.

We wish Vaifoa all the best on his pursuit in a Bachelor of Communication Design and we look forward to seeing what his brighter future holds.

 Get to know Vaifoa

  • Vaifoa hopes to be a Designer in the Game or Film industry - working in game design, animation or character design.
  • Always maintain a positive mindset in anything you do. Being really passionate about learning, creating and sharing with others. Always be open to learning because there are always new things to learn.
  • Words Vaifoa lives by are "You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having"

What does this scholarship mean to you?

"I’m really grateful to receive a scholarship, my family is really proud and thankful. I appreciate all of the work people put into making it possible. The support enables me to get the resources I need for University. An old laptop means taking my courses would be really slow, really difficult. With support, I’m able to upgrade my hardware and better pursue my dream career."