I was born into a family where finance is a huge constrain. During my educational and life journey, I went through a lot of life challenges and difficulties. I wouldn’t have made it this far without God. If you are in a similar category, you must bear in mind that you are not in this alone. There are people who went through similar situation and are now successful so don’t let financial burden stop you from achieving your dreams. There will definitely be challenges but remain focus and keep going. If I can prove to be one of the best among the brains of the world in a top university, you can do it too. Benson.
In 2019, while working with the National Capital District Commission Urban Youth Employment Project, Benson applied for a New Zealand Pacific Scholarship and was successful. He got selected to the University of Auckland to do Master’s program in Engineering Project Management. That’s when he resigned from his job and began his Master’s Degree program in April 2019. Read Benson’s success story below
You are reading Solomon Aplas Motivation | 04 June 2021.
FROM A VILLAGE IN PNG TO AUCKLAND AND GRADUATING WITH FIRST CLASS HONOURS – Benson’s inspirational quotes and life challenges
Like any other rural Papua New Guinean kids with parents who are merely subsistence farmers, Benson’s education journey was not that easy. There would be delays in the payment of school fees and sometimes he would be sent home.
“I feel like giving up and resorting to drug and criminal activities but thank God that these never eventuate because my mum is a committed Christian and always prayed for me and my other siblings.”
Challenges cannot be avoided in life but with God by your side, he can comfort you and give you the inner strength that you need to overcome these life challenges.
“My primary school years from 1996 to 2003 while I was doing my grade one (1) to grade eight (was not quite challenging because the school was close to home.
My high school years in Yangoru High School, now secondary from 2004 to 2005 was the most challenging. Apart from the financial burdens, the distance to the school made it a huge challenge for me. It takes almost 3 hours to reach the school by walking.
My parents have to look for relatives living close to the school to accommodate me for the schooling days (Monday – Friday). And you know, living with relatives away from home has its own disadvantages and challenges too.”
Every Sunday, he would carry food stocks enough for the week and take the 3 hours walking trip to Yangoru. Every Friday afternoon, he would again take the walking trip back to Kusambuk. This was his normal routine for 2 years.
Despite the odds, Benson graduated with a DUX award at the end of grade 10 in 2005 and continued his year 11 and 12 at Brandi Secondary school in Wewak, East Sepik Province.
Benson Lapmienben hails from Yangoru Saussia in East Sepik Province.
While in school, Benson involved in many activities and again he faced a lot of challenges. These challenges never stopped him from believing that he will be a Civil Engineer one day.
“The dream of becoming a Civil Engineer was always part of me when I was still in my primary school years when seeing a construction company upgrading and sealing the Sepik highway. This becomes my motivation and my dream was set which guided my choice of subjects in high and secondary schools.”
“Because of my dream, I was committed and dedicated towards my studies in Brandi Secondary School apart from being involved in so many activities like the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (TSCF).”
As Christians, let us not expect God to bless us if we are not doing our part.
“After the grade 12 exams, I was really excited when my name appears in the newspaper to do Civil Engineering at the PNG University of Technology in Lae. My dream to become a Civil Engineer comes into reality.”
“In 2008, I left home and went to Lae to pursue my studies in Civil Engineering. This was the first time I had to leave my home and parents to travel out of my birth province.”
Studying away from home and parents for the first time can be challenging. Issues such as peer pressure & influence, demotivation etc..have to overcome in order to succeed.
“At the university level, there is now additional financial burden on my parents and few supportive relatives. Thank God that they never failed me during my four (4) years at the university.
To help them at least reduce the financial burden, I did my part to remain on HECAS for the entire 4 years until I graduated in March 2012. That’s when my dream to become a Civil Engineer finally came to reality.”
Whenever you face challenges in life, always look to God because he is the creator, source and everything. You were born for a purpose and only God knows that purpose.
After graduating, Benson, worked as Civil Engineer working with several companies/organizations, including the EPC 5B Komo International Airfield project as well as construction of the Kumul Flyover bridge at Erima in Port Moresby, National Capital District.
It was in 2019 when his motivation shifted when he realized that he needs additional knowledge apart from his technical civil engineering knowledge.
“I need to be equipped with the skills to manage engineering projects so that I can be able to work my way up the ladder to be a manager or CEO one day. This motivation prompted me to apply for the New Zealand Scholarship”
In 2019, while working with the National Capital District Commission Urban Youth Employment Project, Benson applied for a New Zealand Pacific Scholarship and was successful.
He got selected to the University of Auckland to do Master’s program in Engineering Project Management. That’s when he resigned from his job and began his Master’s Degree program in April 2019.
Benson is the eldest of seven siblings in the family.
He completed his program successfully in November 2020 and returned to Papua New Guinea. Currently, he’s working as a Consultant for Water, Sanitation, Health and Hygiene (WASH) with UNICEF, while waiting for his graduation in June this year with Master’s Degree in Engineering Project Management with First Class Honours.
WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST MOTIVATION?
My greatest motivation to study hard and do well in school is to become a better version of myself as time goes on. I want to grow personally in my personal life as well as professionally in my career and I want to bring positive change to my family, community, district, province and country as a whole in whatever endeavours I pursue.
HOW HELPFUL WAS GOD TO YOU?
During my educational and life journey, I went through a lot of challenges and difficulties. I wouldn’t have made it this far without God.
At times, I feel down but I always looked to God because he is my strength and everything. I have a pastor who is my spiritual mentor and it is through his help that gives me spiritual strength when life pours its negatives against me.
Benson thanked his families and friends who supported him in one way or the other to make this journey possible for him.
“Without your support, I wouldn’t make it this far. Thank you very much and only God knows what the future holds for us.”
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY CANNOT MAKE IT IN LIFE?
Having gone through these challenges during my educational journey, I want to give the following advice to young people who think you cannot make it in life that, each one of you has something valuable in you that you do not realize.
The people around you or the society can say whatever they want to say about you but let me tell you that the only person that determines your future is YOURSELF
I was born into a family where finance is a huge constrain. If you are in a similar category, you must bear in mind that you are not in this alone.
There are people who went through similar situation and are now successful so don’t let financial burden stop you from achieving your dreams.
There will definitely be challenges but remain focus and keep going. Today, we have lots of ways to raise income.
Finally, if you are a village boy or village girl, know that I am also in that category. If I can prove to be one of the best among the brains of the world in a top university, you can do it too.
Just believe in yourself and take things as it comes.
By yours truly Solomon Aplas.