Samu Tiavolo is a seventeen-year-old from Hayward, CA. He is currently a senior at Mt. Eden High School. He is the ASB Secretary, Polynesian Club president, and has served in his school leadership program for all four years of high school. Samu has the heart to serve the school and his peers. He also serves the Hayward community as well. He has a passion for going to college, learning, studying and being his own boss one day. He is also very passionate about his culture and the roots of where he comes from. He has a bright future ahead of him and Samu loves and cares for his family.

There were times where Samu had been at his lowest. One of his lowest moments was when he had an anxiety attack at school because of stress. He recently had lost a close family member at the time. He also was at the point of failing school, and he felt unloved by his family. He had trouble sleeping at night, and almost committed suicide. He was so boggled down by stress with school and family life that he couldn’t function as student and as a member of his family. Samu almost came to the point where he was tired of feeling unloved by his family and wanted to commit suicide due to his family not supporting his ambitions and goals. He didn’t bother to reach out for help or talk to someone and always kept to himself because as a teenager, he was taught his mental health was not important in his life.

To overcome the issues that Samu was facing, he had sought help, talked to someone, and opened up more about things to a person he felt was closed to him and could identify as someone who cared about his mental health. He noticed that holding things in messed him up because he took his anger issues on people that cared about him. He looks to God as the reason why he is well and doing better in life. He goes to church every Sunday morning with his family and participates in the church Worship Team. Through those tough times, all he would do is pray to God for better days and he noticed that it was something inside of him was keeping him down. He knew that he with the help of his faith, he had to overcome his mental health challenges and tackle them head on with the support system he felt had his best interest at heart.

Overcoming the struggles he endured, Samu felt he was successful because he changed a lot during the process of understanding how important God and his mental health was to him. He is a better person today and has a heart for serving his community again. Today, he is still going to church and participating in his church’s worship team. He is passing all his classes. He is excited to go to college as he got three acceptance letters. He plans on majoring in business and hoping to own a business one day. Samu is very grateful to be alive and breathing. Over time, his family and himself did a lot of bonding overtime. For example, they went river rafting, camping, and had little bonfires at his cousin’s house where all his family gathered around and sang songs. He wishes those going through what he went through to understand how important, especially as a man to address your mental health issues because they can weigh you down and stop you from being the best person you can be. He also wishes for those who’ve gone through similar situations to find the pursuit of happiness and enjoy the life they’ve been given.