Scholarship Testimony: Marisela Archibald

My life’s journey has been a testament to the power of perseverance, opportunity, and the unwavering support of those who believe in dreams. As I reflect on my path from humble beginnings to becoming a Resource Mobilization Coordinator at the Fiji Red Cross Society, I am reminded of the countless blessings and challenges that have shaped my story.

Growing up in a family where financial struggles were a constant companion, I understood early on the transformative power of education. I am the middle child among six brothers and one sister, with additional half-siblings, raised by a mother who was the sole breadwinner after my father’s passing in 2013.

In 2019, the Bayley Trust offered me a lifeline in the form of a scholarship, enabling me to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce    in   Tourism Management and Human Resource Management. This scholarship was more than financial assistance; it was a beacon of hope that illuminated my path and affirmed my belief in the power of education to change lives.

With the support of the Bayley Trust, I thrived academically, embracing every opportunity to learn, grow, and give back to my community. In 2020, I was honored to receive another scholarship, which allowed me to pursue a Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management, further solidifying my commitment to making a difference in the dynamic field of tourism.

In 2020, I proudly graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, becoming the first in my family to achieve this milestone. The journey didn’t end there. In 2021, I obtained my Postgraduate Diploma, a testament to the resilience and determination instilled in me by my family and mentors

During my time at the university, I had the privilege of being involved in various activities that enriched my academic experience and broadened my horizons. As a peer mentor for Tourism students, I had the opportunity to guide  and support my peers, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie within the department. Additionally,  I worked part-time for a few months at Student Administration Services, gaining valuable work experience and honing my organizational skills.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my university experience was the opportunity to network with a diverse range of individuals. Whether through volunteer work for the USP Buddy Program or serving as a USP Ambassador during the university’s open day, I had the chance to connect with students, faculty, and community members from all walks of life. These experiences not only expanded my social and professional network but also enriched my understanding of different cultures and perspectives.

Upon graduation, I was driven by a deep desire to give back to my community. That’s why I applied to join the Fiji Red Cross Society, an NGO dedicated to humanitarian efforts and community service. In October 2021, I was honored to join the organization as a Resource Mobilization Coordinator

As I look back on my journey, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities that have come my way and the unwavering support of my family, mentors, and the Bayley Trust. Their belief in my potential propelled me forward when the road seemed daunting, and their encouragement fueled my determination to succeed.