Mr Leslie Tikotikoca, a Disability Resource Centre (DRC) student representative sharing his experience at USP.
A physically impaired student of The University of the South Pacific (USP) has commended the University for having a disability-inclusive environment.
Leslie Tikotikoca, a Disability Resource Centre (DRC) student representative who had his right leg amputated following an accident relayed how going to school was tough especially when people stared at him.
Nevertheless he told the students he used that opportunity to persevere so that he could pursue his goals and dreams.
He shared his story during the launch of the 2017 Orientation week at USP’s Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji.
“Here at USP, it is very different because everyone accepts you for who you are. The environment all around is friendly,” he stated.
“Teachers and lecturers are understanding and you will be provided with buddies and mentors to help you go places. I was very surprised when I was introduced to buddies and they were very helpful.”
He added that students are blessed to have the Disability Resource Centre as it caters specifically for the needs of students with disabilities.
“Seeing all our needs being met for a better education has made me more confident and I am enjoying my experience here at USP,” he noted.
Leslie congratulated new students for being accepted into USP saying the door is now open for them to start their journey for a better future.
Being a first-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Psychology and Social Work, Leslie relayed his experience at USP saying it has taught him a lot.
“It has opened my mind and eyes to the opportunities that exist for my benefit and I am sure it will do the same for you,” he said.
Mr Henry Bill, (USPSA) Federal Deputy Chairperson welcoming new students to USP.
He encouraged students to make the most of their time and resources available to them.
“You should have the will and attitude of I can, I will and I must. There will be time for setbacks but continue to have faith,” Leslie added.
“You are here for a reason – to see a better you in your future. Know what your purpose in life is and run towards it,” he added.
On behalf of the USP Student Association (USPSA) Federal Deputy Chairperson Mr Henry Bill said he was pleased to welcome new students saying that without doubt, Orientation is one of the most important and exciting days in USP’s calendar.
“I extend a special welcome to our Chief Guest Honourable Dr Mahendra Reddy as it is always a blessing to have him amongst us. Your presence always brings encouragement and speaks greatly of your support for higher education,” he remarked.
He noted that many students had travelled from quite a distance and he acknowledged them for using the opportunity “to learn in this prestigious university of ours”.
“This is your home for the next three or four years, here you have a wide range of opportunities and people will assist you to become all that you aspire to be,” Mr Bill told the students.
“This University has a rich culture where friendships are forged and sharing and caring occurs with students in the same class – this is the USP culture. We respect differences and celebrate achievements, at USP you are never without a friend,” he advised.
Mr Bill said the day was dedicated to experience what USP life is all about and he encouraged them to make the most of the opportunity.
“University life will open the door for you to be inquisitive. I wish you all the best for the academic year,” he noted.
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