Role model Iosua PYASC reflections

With an infectious personality Iosua is one of the most recognisable faces at the conference thanks to his role as MC of both the 2010 and 2013 editions.
“My first experience in 2010 I was just a youth looking at what the days and years ahead of me would bring,” Iosua recalls.
“At the time I was facing quite a problem. I was morbidly obese, my weight was around 360 pounds (163kg) and it was a really tough time for me.”
Iosua remembers feeling young and invincible, which is part of the reason why he allowed his lifestyle to have such a large influence on his life.
“All the training, workshops and seminars that I experienced at PYASC in Manukau in 2010 really sparked an interest in me to start taking matters seriously and I was able to take control of my life.
“What really opened my eyes during the conference is that what was a normal habit for me, to other people was a problem.”
At the time Iosua was working with the department of youth affairs in American Samoa and says as a role model for other youth it was important for him to lead by example.
“Being able to drop 40 pounds is a huge thing and I was able to help out some of my fellow youths back home and show them some inspiration.
“It was tough at first with sodas and sweets and everything, they just taste so good. But I just had to stop. I still treat myself every now and then, but I pay much more attention than before.”
Each case is different and Iosua says that if he singled out one thing that pushed him to make a change It was being offered the chance to MC the 2010 conference.
“I was not really a well known MC back home but I guess they saw something in me, and my attitude towards youth. They handed me the mike and just said ‘Joe, do your thing’.
“That really opened up doors for me because they gave me an opportunity to explore a talent that I was hiding from everyone. Back home right now that’s how I make a living, I MC and I DJ. I love to dance and I love music, that’s what keeps me going – and it all started at the conference.”
Iosua’s return to PYASC in New Caledonia earlier this month was as a slimmed down version of his 2010 self. He was once again handed control of the mike, but not before PYASC CEO Franck Castillo made an example of the young American Samoan.
“If this is the difference the conference can make in just one person’s life – imagine the impact you can have on entire communities.”
The second edition of the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference was held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 2-6 December 2013 and gathered more than 700 young people from all over the Pacific.

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