Pulemau Savusa’s passion for service

Pulemau Savusa

Pulemau Savusa’s commitment to her Samoan community drives everything she does — from the youth program she helped create, to her pursuit of a UW Bothell degree in Educational Studies, to her vision of helping young people improve their lives through education.

Her ambitions received a huge boost when she was selected to receive the Biella Foundation First Generation Scholarship, which will fund her entire senior year’s tuition, fees and books. Beyond the welcome financial support, Pulemau says, the scholarship powerfully affirmed her life goals.

“I finally felt that my experience was validated, that my work in the community was valued,” she explains. “Now, I feel people really care about my story.”

With a father who emigrated from Samoa and served in the U.S. military and a mother who has dedicated her career to educational causes, Pulemau was naturally inspired to service-oriented passions. While still in high school, for example, she helped start Our Future Matters, a program for Pacific Islander youth. Today, she serves as its director.

Pulemau Savusa
Pictured above: Pulemau shares her story with guests at the 2019 I ♥ UW Bothell Scholarship Luncheon

“I want to set an example for others, to break down barriers and to inspire kids to go to college,” says Pulemau, who plans to earn a master’s degree after graduating this spring. She plans to work in a nonprofit or as a teacher, school counselor or principal.

In the meantime, she is grateful for the opportunity she has to fulfill a service-learning requirement for her senior year by working in her old middle school. It may very well give her career a head start.

“My studies at UW Bothell have helped me learn about the education system and all the opportunities it offers,” she concludes.