Two years ago Siaosi Heimuli’s life took a dramatic turn when his father died.
His dad was his ‘biggest supporter,’ and the experience forced him to take big steps in realizing he had to let the past go and live for the future.
Since his father’s passing, Siaosi has also experienced his mother being hospitalized and his brothers leaving to live with friends of the family across town. He’s now the de facto leader of the family, which includes looking after finances, cooking meals, and visiting his mother in hospital.
Despite the challenges of having to ‘grow up’ far too early, Siaosi remains dedicated to his education, and even reaches out to tutor his younger peers. He also finds time to volunteer in his community, and maintains a smile that, according to one Granite Park Jr. High teacher, “warms your soul.”
In recognition of his academic success despite tragedies and daily hardships, Siaosi was honored as the 2016 Granite School District Absolutely Incredible Kid. He was presented with a handful of prizes from various business partners, including a laptop computer, gifts from the Jones Center, a new sewing machine to fuel his passion, and a $1,000 scholarship.