He is only 17 years old but he talks about plans that are probably well beyond his age.

“I can see there are issues in my community that needs to be addressed,” said Ambrose Wate, a 17-year-old secondary school student from Afio in South Malaita.

“One of the main problems I see is healthcare, for the elderly and new-borns, so I want to give back to my community as a doctor one day.

“We are all born into this world for a reason, I think everyone has a role to play, we just need to find it and commit our time to achieving it. I think doing things with determination will have good results.”

Ambrose started his education as a young child in Pulaga village in Afio, South Malaita. He said that growing up in the village as a young child gave him so much freedom, it was exciting to be in the outdoors with friends after school.

“We did not see that things were hard because we were kids, but slowly I realized that my mother was struggling to put me through school.

“She is self-employed and I realized that it is through her sweat and pain that I was able to have an education,” Ambrose said.

Ambrose said he started taking his education seriously, and persisted knowing that his mother sacrificed a lot just to pay for his school fees.

“I only heard of the name Selwyn college, I did not know where it was located, or what it looked like,” Ambrose said with a smile.

“But I was determined to go to Selwyn college to do my secondary schooling, so I just focussed on that goal.”

Ambrose did well and got a placement to do his form one at Selwyn college, it was difficult for him to say goodbye to his family but they encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

“The first year at form one in 2018 was a challenge, the new environment and the challenges of being on my own.

“The school rules were a lot more than my old school, I took time to understand them and just adjust, the school activities kept my day interesting.

“Despite all the school rules it was still a culture shock for me, especially interacting with other students who are more exposed, I guess choosing your friends and staying focussed is important. My eye is on the prize and that is to achieve my goals in education, slowly but surely,” a determined Ambrose said.

Ambrose was appointed as the Selwyn College Head Boy for 2021, a role he said was unexpected, but something of value because it will give him an opportunity to learn new things.

Ambrose says that he learnt very early that to do well he must be persistent, consistent and work with a lot of determination.

“I think that will help anyone go far in life, and help them achieve their dreams.”