Mark is the fourth child in a family of 7 children. Born in Apia, Samoa, his mother comes from the village of Fasito’otai and father comes from the village of Levi, Saleimoa. The family moved to New Zealand in 1996, first settling in Paraparaumu, which Mark describes as “my ‘home away from home’, the beaches have always been my reminder of my homeland”. Mark moved with his family to Hamilton where he attended Marian Catholic School and St. John’s College.
Mark took on tutoring and mentoring roles at St. John’s College, working with the Maori and Pasifika boys through their studies and cultural performances. He then became the President of Waikato University Samoan Student Association (W.U.S.S.A) where he mentored Pasifika students there as well.
Mark is a keen sportsman and has loved playing rugby since childhood. He had the privilege of representing Waikato teams from U14s to Chiefs development and New Zealand Harlequins.
Mark enjoys working alongside youth teaching and watching them develop and unfold their own story through life. For him it’s about being a supporting guide for our young boys and watching them grow into their own rangatira. To guide them and let them make their own choices to grow and learn. To show them that when there are challenges knocking at your door, you kick that door open and welcome it with open arms. Growing up, his family would always remind him of the Samoan proverb – “O le ala I le pule o le tautua” “The way to becoming a leader, is to serve”. Mark says you can’t jump the queue and start leading if you don’t know how to serve your people, family, friends and community”.