By MICHAEL PHILIP
Many school children when asked about their dream job say they want to be a pilot – but then end up doing something else.
Jonah Theo, 23, is one of them. When he was in Grade Three at the Vunairoto Primary School in East New Britain, he dreamt of becoming a pilot one day.
But that changed when he was in Grade 12 at the Kokopo Secondary School because he realised how good he was in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics. He therefore decided to pursue the Science Foundation programme at UPNG after completing Grade 12.
“While at UPNG I asked God to put me where I am supposed to be according to his will. Medfact accepted me. I felt that the subjects suited me well and that I could become a medical laboratory scientist. I realised then that while we can make our plans, God has the last say.”
His family is from East New Britain. He recently graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea with a Bachelor in Medical Laboratory Science degree.
Jonah started his education journey in Port Moresby doing preparatory grade to Grade Two at the Waigani Elementary School from 2004 to 2006.
In 2007, his family moved to Rabaul where he attended the Vunairoto Primary School completing Grade Three to Grade Eight from 2007 to 2012.
Jonah did extremely well in Grade Eight and was offered a Grade Nine place at the George Brown High School in 2013.
Midway through the year, he moved to St Mary’s Vuvu Secondary School to complete Grade Nine then continue to Grade 10 in 2014.
“ While at UPNG, I asked God to put me where I am supposed to be according to His will. I felt that the subjects suited me well to become a medical laboratory scientist. I realised then that while we can make our plans, God has the last say.”
He then attended Kokopo Secondary School completing Grade 11 and Grade 12 in 2015 and 2016. The next year, he was accepted as a Science Foundation student at the UPNG.
University life was a culture shock to young Jonah because of the challenges he faced, especially paying his fees as a day student and working out how to survive in the big city.
But somehow he managed to always complete all his assignments on time.
For three years, he did not have any laptop which was a requirement for all science foundation students.
“But I managed to pass my examinations through God’s grace. I went through a hard life although I pretend that everything is okay. I just had to be strong to overcome the challenges.”
Jonah graduated with a Bachelor in Medical Laboratory Science degree but plans to pursue a higher degree programme. In fact, he plans to qualify to be neurosurgeon after working for at least three years.
Jonah is forever indebted to elder sister Rubby Theo for supporting him during his four years at university. Their parents had divorced leaving all the responsibilities to Rubby. She was always there by his side until he graduated.
They have two younger sisters.
“I also want to thank all my families for taking care of me. Thank you so much. And not forgetting my friends for their support as well.”
Outside studying, Jonah loves sports as a way to keep fit, healthy and stress-free.
“Taking part in sports and doing my studies is not a new thing to me as I have been doing it since my secondary school days.”
He takes part in the 400-metre race in athletics.
His advice to his peers is to always remind themselves of the motto: “I can do it.”
“The only enemy that you have is yourself. The decisions and choices you make will decide your destiny. Always tell yourself that you are a champion. And put God first in everything you do!
“Attitude is altitude. If you have a positive attitude, you can go as far as you want.”
- Michael Philip is a freelance writer who contributes features to this page.