AIS Institute mourns loss of Tongan student in New Zealand

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Jennifer Tu'utafaiva Leifon (Standing from right) during AIS graduation 2016. Photo/Supplied

The AIS  Institute  community  in New Zealand is in mourning after one of the school’s top students died this week.

An AIS spokesperson said Jennifer Tu’utafaiva-Leifon  “was a smart student”.

School friends and classmates have paid tribute to Leifon and described her on social media as a person who “had a heart of gold and was always striving for the best”.

A tribute which was written in Tongan and posted by the AIS Institute on its official Facebook page for Maori and Pacific Island students said Leifon studied at the institute’s business school.

It said Leifon received top marks in all subjects she studied. She had good character, willing to help and was a useful student to have.

She was awarded a scholarship and she achieved all her subjects with “Academic Excellence Award”.

She also received a special award in the 2016 AIS Graduation ceremony sponsored by the Tongan-New Zealand based accountant Butch Riechelmann, the post said.

The post ended with a heartfelt message from the AIS and its staff to Leifonʻs family saying they wish that God’s embrace, and the love of family and friends comfort them during this time of sorrow!

One of the deceased very close friends Josephine Fineanganofo reflected on Leifon’s intelligence and studies on Facebook.

“Jennifer excelled in her studies with us at Fokololo, she worked at ATS at Fua’amotu Airport and despite the distance she will make it over to classes or to collect her notes.

Because of her success in education Fineanganofo said she had introduced the AIS Institute to her

“Jenny was quick to see the opportunity having her father Paula Tu’utafaiva to speak to me as we prepared her application to AIS.

“She again excelled at AIS and Jennifer updated me in everything she did especially she followed her dreams right through…

“I will miss her but come to think of it..she was given to us to enjoy before being taken away to join the Angels in Heaven..”

“Fly High Jennifer you did it…malo si’o ‘ofa hono tokonia si’etau fanau mei Fokololo ‘oku nau fakapaea ‘I NZ you made your mark and we will all miss you…Toka A ‘I he Nonga moe Fiemalie ‘a e ‘Eiki, Aunty (as you call me!!)”

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