06 Mar 2024

University of Waikato Tauranga campus scholarships celebrated

University of Waikato Tauranga campus scholarships celebrated

Four adult learners have won Acorn Foundation scholarships, twelve students were granted TECT First-in-Family awards, and nine students were awarded TECT Returning Student scholarships.

On Monday evening, the students from the University of Waikato Tauranga campus celebrated their awards with their friends and family. These scholarships are provided by Acorn Foundation donors and by the trustees of TECT to help students afford the expenses of tertiary education.

The first scholarship from Acorn was the Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship. This award is intended for a student who is the first in their family to go on to tertiary study and has completed at least one year at university. This year’s winner is Charlotte Ward, who is in her third year of a Bachelor of Social Science. Her future aspirations are to pursue advanced studies in the field of Forensic Psychology.

It is of great personal significance to me that I am able to attend university. It has felt at times very much out of my reach, and I thought as I entered my thirties that I would never make it. Now I am here and being the first in my family to do so brings me an immense sense of accomplishment and pride,” said Charlotte.

The next scholarship was the Acorn Foundation Kenneth Perszyk Senior Adult Learner Scholarship. This award is for the financial assistance of adult learners (40 years and over) during any stage of their study at the undergraduate or postgraduate level at the University of Waikato Tauranga campus. This year’s winner is Social Sciences student Rachel Lees. The scholarship will help Rachel to pick up more papers per trimester and enable her to complete her degree sooner.

The Acorn Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship was established by an anonymous donor in 2019 who is passionate about the benefits of higher education. This year’s winner is well-respected Te Puke local Louisa Westerlund. She is a valued volunteer at Bay Financial Mentors and many other non-profit organisations. Louisa is currently studying for a Diploma in Law.

In 2007, the Acorn Foundation Eva Trowbridge Scholarship was launched, and it has up to now assisted 17 adult students, 25 years and older, to undertake studies through the University of Waikato Tauranga campus. We are pleased to announce that disability advocate Melody Steyn is this year’s recipient.

Melody has decided to study Social Sciences with a focus on Social Policy. She hopes to influence policy and practice that will continue to increase participation in work and society for those who have disabilities.

“These are incredibly deserving recipients, whose lived experiences have compelled them to undertake studies that will allow them to help others. It is a real pleasure to be able to provide a hand-up to these students. This is not possible without the generosity of Acorn donors who want to see students succeed and achieve their goals,” said Lori Luke, Acorn Foundation CEO.

TECT trustees support two types of scholarships at the University of Waikato Tauranga campus. The First-in-Family awards are designed to help students who have no family members who have previously enrolled in tertiary study to afford university expenses. Returning Student scholarships are intended to provide support for second or third-year students to continue with their studies.

Wayne Werder, TECT CEO, says that TECT are proud to support local students continuing or beginning their studies at the University of Waikato’s Tauranga campus. “With the ever-increasing cost of living, being able to support our local tertiary students with their university fees is an honour and an important way to take some pressure off them, so they can focus on their studies.”

Twelve students were selected for the First-in-Family Scholarships: Mauriora Rangiawha; Maiya-Jane Holliday; Blessing Pasi; Sapphire Green; Jack Lepper; Hayley Boyer; Navleen Kaur; Aliana Wills; Aria Gibson; Jahlia Waikawa-Nepe; Kade Smit; Ryan Bulcraig.

Ryan Bulcraig shared why he has chosen to attend university, “My dad is the only person with a career in my family. And he worked hard to get where he did – but never had the opportunity for formal training. He always said if he could do it again, he’d go back and be a teacher – and that was my motivation to pursue higher education.”

Nine winners of the Returning Student scholarship received their certificates on Tuesday. These top-performing students are: Annabelle Stewart; Erin Murphy; Monique Turner; Olivia Manninen; Charlotte Ward; Keanu De Cleene; Tayla-Paige Fisher; Lesley Juliette Varon Alvarez; Jasmine Tawa.

Director, Tauranga Campus Development and Operations, Joseph Macfarlane, said for many students, the scholarship is the difference between being able to achieve your aspiration of attending university or not. “I’m very proud of the students, and grateful to TECT and the Acorn Foundation.”

Congratulations to all of the Acorn Foundation and TECT University of Waikato Tauranga Campus scholarship winners!

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