Born and raised in the U.S., Lavinia would question her culture and what it means to be a second-generation immigrant. She clashed with the feeling that she was too Tongan for America and too American for Tonga.
Her family holds on tight to their Tongan culture and ties, which meant growing up she was taught that women have a box to fit in. Limited by her mother’s constraints on the ideal female role led Lavinia to question her identity as well as question who and what she was supposed to be. Not only did she struggle with figuring out her identity, but she also experienced racism from her peers leading her to become an advocate for people of color.
After multiple life setbacks, she decided to pursue higher education, and it would lead to prestigious opportunities showing that women can achieve things that were seen as unconventional in the eyes of her parents.
Lavinia’s episode is filled with empowerment, interconnection, and disparities that are navigated through a collective and beautiful culture.