BEING a schoolteacher is not easy for 19-year-old Siteri Marama and being a contestant at the Vodafone Gold and Water Carnival would be an equally challenging task.
"My first week at Tavua Primary School was challenging because I felt a bit overwhelmed by it but as the days passed I settled in and now it's something that I enjoy very much," said the Miss Tavua Town Council.
"Being a participant in the Vodafone Gold and Water Carnival is going to be another challenge.
"I didn't really want to be part of it or be a contestant but my parents were the ones who kept pushing me and it was through their encouragement that I finally gave in."
Ms Marama said she saw the festival as a way to deliver her message.
"I want to encourage our youths to make something of their lives.
"There are so many opportunities out there that they can take advantage of.
"I wanted to pursue my studies in teaching but when this teaching position came up, I applied without really expecting to be given a chance but I just thought why not?"
The former Ratu Sukuna Memorial student said she was given a two-year contract to teach the iTaukei language at the school.
"I find it very enjoyable and a learning experience.
"It will improve my chances of getting other teaching jobs when I'm done with my studies."
Ms Marama said youths needed to know that many employment opportunities were available.
"There are the standard jobs that they can pursue but there are also unconventional ones that they could get like starting their own business."
The carnival starts on October 2 at Garvey Park.