'Afa & Kalisi Palu

Attending BYU–Hawaii was a logical decision for both Afa and Kalisi as it was affordable and relatively close to home. They met during their time at BYU–Hawaii and the rest is history. Kalisi graduated in 1988 with a degree in Office Management and worked as the Office Manager at the Physical Plant Office on campus until Afa graduated in 1992 with a BS in Biological Science.

The next big change came as Afa and Kalisi felt the need to pack up and move their little family to Utah. Afa worked part-time at the MTC for a couple years, but then spent the next decade working as an Administrator for Discover Academy. From Discovery Academy, he was recruited by Morinda Inc., a Tahitian noni juice company. Afa worked at Morinda for 13 and a half years and published several scientific research experiments and clinical trials; he also obtained several US and international patents all while working for Morinda. After receiving his PhD in Educational Leadership in 2014, Afa and his brothers started a company called Vaiteq where he still works today. Their goal is to work with parents and help students to engage in their education to prevent them from dropping out of school.

As for Kalisi, she loves to stay busy. After moving to Utah, she spent 15 years working in the Financial Aid Office at BYU Provo, then she managed the Processing Center for 4 more years. In the Processing Center she worked with admissions applications for all the CES schools and processed financial aid applications. The last 6 years Kalisi has been working as the BYU OneStop Counseling Center Manager. As the manger she supervises 9 full-time employees and they help resolve complicated issues or find the best options to assist students. On top of working full time, Kalisi is finishing up her Master’s degree in Public Administration and on schedule to graduate in August of this year. Both Afa and Kalisi said that they love the interactions that they have with students and youth; they love serving others.

Afa and Kalisi are both passionate about helping others, and their community involvement has reflected that passion. Kalisi said, “Coming from parents who only had sixth grade education, I want to make a difference in our young people’s lives.” Afa also mentioned that they have worked with high school dropouts to earn a GED, directed and promoted educational workshops such as the Makai Reading Initiative in their Tongan Stake, and so much more.

Afa and Kalisi have three sons: James, Joseph, and Jacob. As a family they love to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead, working in the yard, going to the movies, and “eating out at the Chinese buffet (but they lose money when we come)”. They both have served in numerous leadership positions within the Church, and are grateful for the opportunities they have had to serve in different capacities.

Bryce Marvin
Tuesday, June 14, 2016