University Y Student Center

When Fatulegaee or “Fatu” was a new student at University of Washington Tacoma, he was nervous about the journey ahead. Not only was he daunted by a new environment, but he lacked confidence in his ability to succeed in the classroom.

“For me, I struggled with my academics,” said Fatu. He often felt defeated and excluded because of his struggle. But failure was not an option.

Fatu’s name means “unshakeable heart” in Samoan. His struggle developed within him a strong character which he is now using to inspire others struggling with academics or social diversity.

“I know now that any difficulty I go through, in the end will only make me stronger,” said Fatu. “I love this place. I feel like I belong here.”