Written by Shon Cornett and Jennifer Gonthier, Community Corrections Officers, Renton Field Office
RENTON, Wash.—Anosiasio Loleto “Lolo” Tuivai has been a Community Corrections Officer with the Department of Corrections since 2004 and has worked with the Renton Field Office for the last four years. In 1997 she arrived in the United States from Tonga, and on November 6, 2012, she became a United States citizen—along with 102 others from 33 different countries—just in time to vote in this year’s election.
When Tuivai finished high school in Tonga, she entered the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, where she studied English and geography. She then returned to Tonga where she taught English and geography to high school students in the capital, Nukualofa, which means “city of love.”
Tuivai came to the United States to join her high school sweetheart, now her husband, and brought her 13-year-old son with her. Her son now works in the University of Washington’s minority affairs department.
On November 8, Field Administrator Donta Harper presented Tuivai with a certificate of achievement, and her coworkers hosted a celebration to share the momentous occasion.
When asked why she wanted to become a citizen, Tuivai responded, “Money, man. The United States is full of opportunities.” Since then, coworkers have joked with her that she is now AC Lolo (American Citizen Lolo) whenever she demands anything or takes advantage of an opportunity. On a more practical note, being a citizen also helps with traveling back to see her family in Tonga, New Zealand and Australia.
Tuivai has a variety of hobbies and things she enjoys doing, like Zumba, to which her coworkers can attest. She also does kickboxing, crocheting and tennis, and enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, Lupeolo, who was born October 25, 2011.
We congratulate Officer Tuivai on this achievement, which took months of preparation and dedication. We are proud to call her a fellow citizen.