The 2020 funding round has now closed and applications are being reviewed.

12 Dec 2019

Nikki Wade wins 2019 Acorn Foundation Adult Leaner Scholarship

The Acorn team were delighted to meet Nikki Wade, winner of the 2019 Acorn Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship.  As a solo parent at the time, and wanting to improve her employment prospects and the future for her daughter, Nikki completed a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in psychology.  She is now undertaking a Master of Applied Community Psychology programme, with her thesis titled: Sole mothers experiences of accessing support from New Zealand welfare agency Work and Income New Zealand.

More about Nikki:

"During my undergraduate studies I quickly learned that the contextual, empathetic, and structural approach of community psychology was where my passion for addressing social issues thrived. Therefore, following my Bachelor’s degree, I applied to the UoW Master of Applied Community Psychology programme to pursue my interest and education in social and social justice areas. My personal experiences as a sole parent living on a Sole Parent Support benefit led to me choosing my master’s thesis research topic, titled: Sole mothers experiences of accessing support from New Zealand welfare agency Work and Income New Zealand.

My aim with this research is to hear first-hand of the lived experiences of women who engage with our welfare system and whether the system helps them and their families to thrive or not. I also want to explore and document the structural issues at play within the system that intimately impact the lives of sole mothers. With the findings of this research I seek to offer an alternative narrative to current mainstream accounts of this highly emotive topic.

After completing my master’s degree, I will apply to the Postgraduate Diploma in the Practice of Psychology, where I hope to fulfil the requirements to register as a community psychologist under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. With these qualifications I hope to work in the policy and evaluation sector on issues impacting human flourishing within Aotearoa/New Zealand.

I am now happily married to my incredibly supportive husband, with the three of us continuing to love life in the sunny Bay of Plenty. I would like to sincerely thank the Acorn Foundation and [anonymous donor] for their support of me and my whānau in my educational and community endeavours via the [Acorn Foundation Adult Learner] Scholarship. Without your generosity, support and encouragement continuing with my studies would be that much harder, I offer a heartfelt thank you!"

We wish you all the best Nikki - keep in touch!