Strong Father Supports Sons
The recent drug bust of 17 students at Texas Christian University included four members of the nationally-recognized football team, but impacted many more.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, or Big V, committed to TCU in early February and is expected to play football there next fall.
The morning of February 16 after the bust, Big V received a call from TCU’s football coach Dan Sharp addressing the issue and any concerns he might have regarding the situation.
“I was told that I was supposed to be a back-up for one of the starters who was accused,” Big V said.
Some people would say that the drug bust has put a dent in TCU’s seemingly perfect reputation and would let it influence their decision to attend the school. Star-Telegram recently set up a poll asking parents, “Would the drug busts influence your decision to attend or to let your child attend TCU?” 34% of voters (4041 people) answered yes, 58% (6777 people) answered no, and 8% (901 people) answered ‘not yet’.
“What happened at TCU could have happened anywhere. [It] upsets me, but in a way, I’m glad it happened because maybe people need to pay more attention to the kids,” Big V’s father Talikavili Vaitai said.
“Although I work a lot of hours, I know not to worry about [my sons] now, because if they are not at school, I know they are at church or with their niece,” Vaitai said.
Most parents worry and have some anxieties about their children going off to college, but for Mr. Vaitai, this isn’t the case.
“You know, I have three big boys and a lot of things will happen along the way, but I am not worried about them,” Vaitai said. The hardest part will be missing them at the house when all three go to school next year.”
Mr. Vaitai and the Vaitai brothers are a tight-knit family and part of this can be attributed to their involvement in the Strong Fathers program, a program sponsored by Crespin Cortez.
Mr. Vaitai has been an active member of Strong Fathers for three years and said the program has had a positive effect on his family.
“I think that Strong Fathers is a good thing for students and the school because it keeps everyone close and it shows students what a strong father is,” Vaitai said. “The program has really helped me the past two years since I have been working so much. If you are away from home for whatever reason, Haltom is like a second home.”
Strong Fathers is not the only thing that the family is involved in, though. The Vaitai family attends First United Methodist Church of Watauga.
“Involvement at school and in church has played a big part of who they are and will be going forward,” Vaitai said.
Needless to say, Mr. Vaitai is confident in his boys and has few worries when it comes to them going to college next fall.
“If you know where you’re going and where you’ve been, you’ll be fine,” Vaitai said.