ISIKELI Rodney Tavola made his mother proud when he walked up to receive the Mental Health Nursing Trophy for outstanding achievement at the Fiji National University's graduation last week.
The Diploma in Nursing graduate dedicated his award to his mother, Sainimere Naisele who has been his biggest motivation behind his studies.
"My mum raised me and two sisters up all by herself," he said.
"As the only boy in the family, it pained me to see her sacrificing so much for us, she did it all because she loved us," the 22-year old from Qoma in Tailevu said.
"The three years of studies was extremely challenging but every time I thought of giving up I remembered what my mum went through to get me here it kept me going."
Mr Tavola said while he enjoyed his attachment at St Giles Hospital for mental health care, his favourite field was labour and delivery.
"Nursing is female dominated, so I found it hard when I first started."
"However, as it went on, it became easier, I made new friends and enjoyed learning new things."
"I couldn't have completed my studies without my mum she was my pillar of strength."
Mr Tavola also acknowledged his two sisters Silina and Bui, his aunt and uncle Lusi and Jone Vuetaki and Johnny and Emele Lal.
"It is such a relief to finally graduate."
"I know that it only gets harder but I am ready for the challenge and I can't wait to begin working," he said.