Street vendor dreams of becoming a lawyer

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Newsline Samoa staff writers work hard to bring you the latest sports, politics, local, and lifestyle news from around Samoa and the region.

  • Young man with a big, noble dream
    Young man with a big, noble dream

Deidre Fanene

A street vendor is looking forward to what this year has for him.

Jay Semo has had a tough life at a young age and is no stranger to most of the people in Apia especially the businesses.

There was also a time when the Samoa Victim Support Group took him into the shelter and offered him a place to live, after he ran away from home because he was being abused.

The 13 year old had spent 3 years at the shelter before returning to his family at Falealili.

Speaking to Newsline Jay said life has been good to him so far and one thing and is looking forward to this year at going back to school.

Life was really hard for me when I was living with my mother and her new husband, he said.

“I would get a hiding all the time but especially when I don’t finish selling all the products that I had brought.

 It wasn’t always like that when my father was still together with my mother, when they split up and I had to live with my mother and her new husband that’s when the tough time started.

“Sometimes I would not attend school because I had to go deliver our products so we can get money; my father had gone back to his family in Falealili.

 Semo didn’t want to live such a life. He really wanted to attend school and be able to make it to the university so he can get a good job, but that was not the case.

His stepfather beat me up so bad that I ran away from home and went straight to the Samoa Victim Support Group.

“Mama Lina took me in and gave me a home and it was during those times that I felt happy.

“I didn’t have to wake up early in the morning I was attending school inside the campus I was eating properly and I had so many clothes.”

The 13 year old said he had lived at the SVSG for 3 years.

“In those 3 years I was happy and I was learning at the same time without having to leave the campus,” he said.

“Life in the campus is where I was treated as a child I get to play outside in the evening which was something new to me.

“I was eating well and I had my own bed and most especially I had friends whom I called my brothers and sisters inside the campus.”

Semo says after 3 years of living in the shelter he wanted to see his biological father and he requested Lina if he could go see his father.

“Lina and other older girls went and dropped me at my father in Falealili,” he said.

“From then until now I am still living with my father.”

The 13 year old said he is looking forward to going back to school.

“I am very happy that I will be in school again this year because I want to fulfill my dream of becoming a lawyer,” he said.

“I want to work in the Attorney General’s Office that is my goal.

“I want to become a lawyer so I can help out with the Samoa Victim Support Group cases I want to represent them in court.

“One day I will become a lawyer hence why I want to go back to school so I can finish my primary school and go to a good college and work hard to go to university and get a scholarship so I can fulfill my life’s dream and goal.”

The 13 year old is looking forward to when school starts.

“I am going to work hard to fulfill my dream and earn good money so I can look after my father and family.

“I will provide for my family and I can only do that if I finish school and get a scholarship to study hard and get that piece of paper and then come back and work here and serve the people of Samoa.”