By SHARON TANDA
GLEN Burua decided to leave his degree programme at the Divine Word University to spend more of his time helping students struggling in schools.
Seems strange but he reached that decision after careful consideration. He returned home to East New Britain and started voluntarily delivering motivational speeches to students in various high schools there.
“The conviction to go back home lay heavily in my heart. It was not an easy decision to make. I knew I was giving up my degree. But then again I thought maybe if I sacrificed my degree, I could motivate many others to get theirs.”
Glen, 22, is from Matupit in Rabaul district.
He has a passion for motivating and inspiring people through speeches.
He did not know he had the “gift of the gab” until one day he was invited to speak to students at the primary school he had attended in Matupit.
“After speaking there and seeing hundreds of students looking more optimistically into their education and future, I realised I had to do it. There are many out there who need to be encouraged and pushed to achieve their dreams.
“ It was not an easy decision to make. I knew I was giving up my degree. But then again I thought maybe if I sacrificed one degree, I could motivate many others to receive degrees.”
“I knew I had a gift to motivate people irrespective of the circumstances they are in.”
He realised that there were many students in his home province who faced insecurity, challenges and lacked self-esteem. They had no one to turn to for advice.
He is the eldest in a family of three boys. Dad Ben Burua is a police officer in Rabaul. Mum Grace is the deputy provincial administrator.
Understandably, his parents were disappointed with his decision. They had invested in his education hoping that he will graduate from university and get a good job.
“They did not approve of my decision to leave school. But after parents and students started showering them with gratitude and appreciation because of what their son was doing, they started to support me.”
Glen impresses on students the need to take full responsibility for their education and lives. He talks about the power of making choices, to believe that failure is not final, and taking necessary actions to achieve goals.
“Dreams don’t have expiry dates.”
He also includes inspirational quotes from successful people who had at some point failed.
He has addressed students in more than 100 schools in ENB. Radio ENB has also allocated him time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
He also has a Facebook page Glen Burua Motivational which has more than 5000 followers.
He presents on this page stories of young Papua New Guineans which had overcome and risen above their problems to excel in life.
“These are everyday Papua New Guineans who have beaten the odds to get to where they are. Their stories are relatable and I believe their stories can inspire others.”
Because it is volunteer work, he has to find money himself to finance his trips. He experiences financial difficulties but does not complain.
“I will push on because God will provide a way for me to broaden my horizon and reach out further than where I am now, but all in His timing.”
Glen believes that the greatest legacy is not the money, car or house one may own but how far one will go to help others.
“Life is too short. I’d rather use the gift God has given me to inspire young people than keep it to myself.”