“There are no short cuts, and nothing is ever free. If you want something, you have to break your back for it.”
These were the words of 19-year-old Bianca Tuckayo, an awardee of the US Global UGrad Program facilitated by the U.S. Embassy, who is currently in the United States.
Bianca comes from a mixed parentage of Morobe and West Papua and grew up in Lae where she completed both her primary and secondary education before her successful admission into the UPNG School of Law in 2023.
The Global Undergraduate Program gives her the opportunity to be on a one-semester fully funded exchange program studying pre-law at the Kansas State University as she is a second-year law student at the University of Papua New Guinea.
“I’m studying pre-law at Kansas State University then after my scholarship is done, I will come back and continue to do my third year of law school at the University of Papua New Guinea.”
Bianca stated that she first heard about the scholarship through a senior law student who was a pioneer awardee of the scholarship.
“I was in first year of Law School when my senior Jeanelle Ewande, who was one of the first awardees of this program, had just returned from Kentucky.”
“I was so proud and over the top listening to all her stories of her time in the U.S.”
“I was so proud and over the top listening to all her stories of her time in the US.”
She did not think that her application would be successful, but she is grateful for this opportunity and says that she is impressed with herself for this particular achievement.
“I applied for fun. I didn’t think I could get in.”
“Honestly, I was pretty impressed with myself.”
When asked what she hoped to learn and achieve while on this scholarship she said that she wants to meet a lot of people and make connections that she is hoping will last.
“To learn from everyone I meet, one way or the other, to show people here a little part of PNG.”
She added she is motivated by her paternal grandparents who had left West Papua and moved to PNG in the 60s with nothing and built a life out of it.
“They had nothing, and my dad and his siblings had to work hard in school because they knew that if they didn’t, they would have nothing.”
“So they worked hard to give us the life we have now.”
Bianca also plays basketball and has represented Morobe in the 7th PNG Games in Kimbe in 2017 and was also part of the PNG Basketball squad who took part in FIBA U15 Oceania Championships in 2018.
Meanwhile Bianca has managed to make her family proud and said she is happy with this achievement and that she has made not just her Grandparents but also her whole family proud.
“The responsibility now rests on me and my cousins to continue the effort so that our ggrandparent’s effort to give their children and grandchildren a better life would not go to waste.”