To'utupu 'oe 'Otu Felenite Association
To'utupu 'oe 'Otu Felenite Association
Starting February 7-April 24, register for our cultural dance group TOFA Heartbearts! Classes held weekly on Wednesdays from 7-8 pm at the Wackford Community Center.
Contact Vise Mann
It's not too late to join our 2024 Ambassadors this year. Ambassadors run from January to May. For more information and to sign up, click the link below.
Contact Luisa Lavulo
The application for the 2024 TOFA Scholarship will be open starting March 1st. Click below for more information.
Contact Eliza Cocker
2024 Nehemiah Emerging Leadership Program + The Sacramento Bee's Equity Lab celebrates the Top Change Makers in the Sacramento Region!
Friday, March 22nd, 2024
March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election
November 5, 2024 Presidential General Election
Click on link below to register!
Looking for opportunities to volunteer in the local community?
Click for more information on events where you can serve!
"I'm brave and I want to experience new things and continue to help my peers to do the rights things and be a leader!"
-Emani, 10 years old
"I am a TOFA Amabassador, of course I am not afraid to speak publicly"
-Meletonga, 13 years old
Our awesome supporters and partners at ARI had their annual Autumn Moon Dinner where our TOFA Board and Ambassadors were spotted. ARI has been one of TOFA's main supporters for years and we're grateful to be able to support them at their event. It's always a fun time to rub elbows with the community at large.
TOFA President Lisa Hafoka joined other PI community leaders in U.S. Region 9 to reintroduce WHIAANHPI and provide a convening space for AA and NHPI community and business leaders, federal officials, intergovernmental partners, and private sector organizations to learn more about work being done to support AA and NHPI communities in this region.
Turning Point Community Programs (TPCP) dedicated their new CORE program wellness center to late TOFA President and Founder, Ofa Mann. She dedicated a lifetime of advocacy for mental health to her clients as well as the community. 'Ofa's family came out in support of this opening. Well deserved honor.
TOFA supports Bloom Leadership and PI students at Luther Burbank High School's Nesian Fest where there was a showcase of the Pasifika cultures represented at Burbank High School. Ambassadors were out there with a raffle and prizes in support of their program.
TOFA attends the Capital Region Creative Corps event about the Creative Corp Grant. This event was to learn more about the grant and it purpose to bridge the gap between social issues and local artists -- pushing forth the important work and message of social issues to our local community.
TOFA walked in support of Right On! social justice art event standing as human billboards representing Supreme Court cases involving Asians in America in the last 150 years. Volunteers from AAPI communities came out in support of this silent walk downtown Sacramento.
TOFA participated with the community in support of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk coming together in hopes to knock down walls, obstacles, and realize dreams regarding the importance of mental health.
TOFA kicks-off Asian American Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage month by attending the launch celebration hosted by APAPA at the California State Railroad Museum to learn about the great history of AANHPI contributions to the creation of California's railroads and wineries.
TOFA supports Elk Grove High School's Polynesian Family Night. A beautiful display of PI cultures from high students from the EGHS Poly Club and other PI students in Sacramento and Stockton area. This night was a showcase of solidarity among our PI youth and their pride in their culture. Our Ambassadors bold little leaders are always present in the community.
TOFA attends a celebration of AANHPI women in STEM hosted by APAPA with guest speaker 14-year old CEO, entrepreneur, and STEM feminist advocate Samaira Mehta who is the inventer of AI board game, "CoderBunnyz". She advocates on behalf of women in STEM and is a great example to our TOFA Ambassadors.
TOFA volunteered at the 2023 CSUS Pacific Islanders United (PICU) Island Showcase at the University Union. This special event not only highlighted the PI cultural representation at CSUS but highlighted all of the 2023 Pacific Islander graduates at CSUS. Many former CSUS PI alumni also attended this event and was also free to the public.
June 7-Jun 9 Polynesian Conflict & Resolution Center holds its 10th Annual PI Violence Prevention Conference at CSMCC with Conference Speakers from the PI Community and Workshops about harm reduction and violence prevention. See our highlight of Conference Speaker Alisi Tulua Program Director of Asian American Futures.
Aisea Tupou, a Tongan National, moved here with his family when he was 3 years old. Like any other immigrant family, his parents moved to make a better life for him and his siblings. He is number 6 of 9 children and found himself growing up in the low income neighborhoods of South Sacramento amongst a growing Tongan community. Their family struggle with evictions and lack of steady employment had Aisea entangled in the life of quick money and drugs. This was short lived as he witnessed close friends going to prison with long sentences.
While attending Kennedy High School, Aisea found a personal outlet in music. He went on to form Wells Records Entertainment and opened a recording studio with childhood friend, Robert Hafoka. Together, they successfully recorded and produced local artists D gotti, Rudemon Spoon, Luisa Lavulo, Finn Gruva and more. The returns on the business venture of their passion for music are far more than just the royalties they continue to receive today.
In 2002, Aisea formed his first concrete and landscaping business with the help of his cousin, Saia, who served as a mentor and business investor. This is where his entrepreneurial spirit awoke. Later, Aisea joined forces with his older brother to learn the cell phone tower business. He helped his brother start and grow his own business. After helping his brother’s business expand, Aisea started his own company, Perspective Builders. The company maintains 30 employees, but over the years he has taken on over 70 local community members as employees. He gladly helps the Pacific Islander community whenever a need arises.
“One of my biggest motivations was, we don't have a lot of resources in the community, so I wanted to be able to jump into something to create opportunities for kids from our Tongan community that they otherwise don’t get".
Today, Aisea operates Perspective Builders from his warehouse and recently expanded his company from cell phone towers to real estate construction and is now the proud owner of Oyster Bar Citrus Heights franchise which will hold its Grand opening in December. With numerous business ventures, Aisea’s main goal is to help others.
“I want to help as many people as I can…sometimes it bites us in the butt trying to help the homies but it's all worth it”.
If you ask Aisea today who he is, he says, “I’m just a regular God fearing man that knows how to use my resources to help and pull people up”. True to his entrepreneurial spirit, Aisea is always looking for ways to expand his businesses to help his people get ahead.
Grace Fa’avesi migrated to the United States in 1991 when she was 9 years old, from Auckland, New Zealand. She is the youngest of 7 children. If you ask Grace who she is in a nutshell, she would say “I am a Christ Believer, a wife, a mother, and a world changer.”
Grace Graduated from Hiram Johnson High School in 1999. She did not always choose the easy path. From bouts with drug addiction, alcoholism, homelessness, toxic relationships, and multiple suicide attempts she was in the thick of it. She finally hit “rock bottom” in 2008 after being court ordered to wear a monitor for 3 months to track her alcohol intake as a result of a DUI and an incident with multiple hit and runs. Grace had to face her life with sober eyes for the first time.
Change was needed and in her search for a different source of comfort she heard the news of her cousin’s life change at the help of an answer that was always there. She found her way back to her childhood church. Pushing through all the self doubt and self opposition, she mustered the courage to walk through those doors and was greeted with warm welcome from familiar faces. Grace felt a new love that she hadn’t experienced in her adult years.
From then on, that life of Grace was no more. She decided to dedicate her life to Christ which led her to connect with people from the past. Late 2008, Grace became a youth pastor for Soul’s Harbor and then enrolled into community college in 2009. January of 2010, Epic Bloom was created by Nia Kotobalavu and Grace was at the right place and the right time to get involved. In the same year, May 2010 she graduated and from the on, dedicated her time to Epic Bloom helping to develop different areas of focus.
Grace spearheaded the Prison Ministries, actively participating in various aspects of the program such as serving as a pen pal to inmates, attending court cases, and regularly visiting the inmates in prison. As a dedicated volunteer, Grace assumed the role of chief advisor for the Native Hawaiian Group at San Quentin, actively sponsoring and facilitating the program to provide support and guidance to its members.
In 2014 Grace graduated with a BA in Communications and Education and ever since has take up the torch for Epic Bloom. She has continued to carry it forward, extending its impact to the high school level by offering leadership classes across multiple school districts. Today Grace understands the importance of advocacy and leadership for the underprivileged Pacific Islander community. She aspires to open “Epic Bloom International Academy of Leadership” in the near future. The first K-12 school serving that exact community.
Two things that Grace is most proud of in her life is accepting Christ as her Lord and Savior and never giving up on herself and on others.
Her story is one of struggle to triumph - transformation and leadership! Thank you for your service!
Image courtesy of Bloom Leadership
Viliami "Toe" Polaulu is an inspiring individual whose journey is defined by determination, a commitment to education, and a passion for helping others. Born in the Bay Area and raised in Sacramento, California, Viliami is proud of his Tongan American heritage and holds his family's values close to his heart.
Viliami's love for rugby began in his youth, and he channeled his passion into coaching the U10 team for the SacPal Rugby Club.
In his career, Viliami came to a realization: without a college degree, he would be limited in his professional advancement. Motivated by a desire to create a better future for himself and be a role model for his daughters, he made the brave decision to return to Sacramento City College at the age of 35.
Balancing his responsibilities as a coach, a father, and a student, Viliami dedicated himself wholeheartedly to his studies. He successfully completed his Associates Degree, a significant milestone that laid the foundation for his academic journey. Fueled by his accomplishments and driven by his ambition, Viliami was accepted into Sacramento State Bachelor's in Social Work Program.
Viliami's choice to study social work is deeply rooted in his compassion for others and his innate desire to make a positive impact on his community. In addition to his studies, he works as a case manager for Sacramento Self-Help Housing, an organization that focuses on helping homeless individuals find stable housing and access the support services they need. Through his work, Viliami demonstrates his dedication to empowering and assisting those who are most vulnerable.
As a first-generation college student, Viliami faced unique challenges, but he is breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations. He understands the transformative power of education and is determined to create a better future for himself and his family.
In his youth, Viliami was involved with TOFA, an organization that celebrates Tongan culture and heritage. His Aunty Liva played a significant role in TOFA and encouraged Viliami and his siblings to actively participate, instilling in them a strong sense of pride in their Tongan roots.
Viliami's journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, resilience, and the pursuit of higher education. His unwavering dedication to his studies, combined with his passion for making a difference in the lives of others, serves as an inspiration to those around him. Viliami's story exemplifies the transformative impact one individual can have when they pursue their dreams and use their skills and knowledge to uplift their community.