Sepiuta Kupu is a Tongan immigrant that was born in Auckland City, New Zealand before spending the rest of her childhood on a small island called Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu (Also known as Tonga, “The Friendly Islands of the South Pacific”). At the age of 12, Sepiuta and her family migrated to the U.S., all while her parents carried the heavy burden of seeing their daughters strive for better education and career opportunities.
While living in California, Sepiuta received her Associates of Arts degree in English at San Mateo Community College before transferring to the University of California, Davis where she then earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, Criticism, and Theory. Sepiuta hopes to further her education in order to study immigration law, so that she can obtain the skills, knowledge, and experience to become an effective advocate for the immigrant community. With her experiences of being an immigrant in San Francisco for half of her life, Sepiuta is motivated to place herself in settings where she can teach others (as well as herself) how to gain access to the various rights and resources that were built for the immigrant community. She is fortunate enough to have the extensive support of her parents, siblings, and peers to help her through the process of navigating life as an immigrant in California. The support she receives from her loved ones is a motivational push for Sepiuta to acquire as much knowledge in order to be an effective resource to the immigrant community.
As a DreamSF Fellow, Sepiuta is placed with the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs office (OCEIA), as part of the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative (SFPCI) Project. Here, she will be maintaining and improving upon the SFPCI workshop processes and internal organizational systems, engaging directly with community members by staffing the SFPCI hotlines, and providing direct support with coordinating workshops. Sepiuta is looking forward to expanding her knowledge by working with OCEIA to become more confident and build her skills in order to give back to the immigrant community.
In her free time, she enjoys attending social events and family functions, weight training, as well as spending time with her dog, Remy. Eventually, Sepiuta hopes to travel the world with her loved ones (especially her dog).