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!