BYU Pacific Islanders Connect Club come together


The BYU Pacific Islanders Connect Club’s mission is not only to support Polynesian students at BYU, but also to extend compassion to fellow Polynesians affected by the devastating wildfires in Maui.

Polynesian students on campus explained the devastating events in Maui have brought more attention to them as they work to strengthen their cultural identity and unity.

Soana Laulotu, club president, said she was shocked and sad upon hearing about the Maui fire from a friend who lives there. Laulotu’s heart ached for the injured and those who could not escape the deadly flames.

“We want to bring awareness that there’s career fairs that can help them bring applications or resumes to, you know, might as well get a job there if possible,” Laulotu said.

Helaman Sosi is the student relations director of the club. He is also a member of the performing group Living Legends. Sosi explained his deep connection with Hawaiians through his involvement with Living Legends has created a more tender spot in his heart for those who are suffering in Maui.

“What we did was we just tried to donate money,” Sosi said.

According to Sosi, the club’s donation’s could not reach Maui because of local government regulations. However, the club members knew their prayers would. Sosi and others prayed not just for those who were killed and affected by the fire but also for the community members there who must endure the aftermath and rebuild their homes and their lives.

“There is power in knowing who you are,” Sosi said.

The BYU Pacific Islanders Connect hopes that Polynesian students here on campus can embrace their cultures and use their unique perspectives to enrich the society as a whole.
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