20 Rotorua students receive Rotorua Trust tertiary study awards

Rotorua’s Shanayla Barrett hopes to one-day return to help the community she calls home – but for now it’s the support of the Rotorua Trust that’s helping her.


Miss Barrett is one of 20 students presented with a tertiary study award from the Trust, which will see the school leavers who are about to start tertiary study this year receive funding of $2,000 a year for the duration of a three or four-year degree.


The awards, presented at a function at the Blue Baths on February 8, recognised students for excelling academically or contributing to the community.


Trust chairman Stewart Edward says five of the awards are based on academic achievement at NCEA in years 12 and 13, while 15 recognise leadership skills and involvement in school, cultural and wider community activities.


For Miss Barrett, the funding is a big boost ahead of moving to Auckland to study a conjoint Bachelor of Arts/Law degree.


“It’s an honour and it is very helpful. The accommodation costs are expensive and with my degree I can’t really work part time so funding like this helps a lot.”


Miss Barrett says to be recognised alongside her peers is particularly special, as is the ongoing nature of the support which will help during the four years she is studying, if she continues to meet academic requirements.


Miss Barrett hopes to put her degrees to use giving back to the community and plans to return to Rotorua in time. She has spent the past few years involved in community initiatives such as youth suicide prevention, homelessness, addressing poverty, as well as health and addiction services.


Mr Edward says the awards are special because they recognise not only the academic excellence, but also contribution to the community.


Students receiving the awards came from a mix of Rotorua schools and are pursuing a range of different qualifications.


“A key role of the Rotorua Trust is a better Rotorua for all and the students recognised with the tertiary study awards have all played a significant role in doing this, giving back to the community in a myriad of ways.


“It is fantastic to be able to support those who have given to our community, by providing some financial assistance for their tertiary education.”


As well as helping the students, Mr Edward says he is confident the city will benefit from the funding with many past students returning to live and work in Rotorua.


“We wish the recipients the best of luck for their studies and can’t wait to see where that leads them in the future.”


Other students to receive the awards are Raymond Chiu, Ella Fookes, Adam Schweizer, Ethan Wait, Eamon Walsh, Jack Elvy, Thomas Firth, Joshua Gapes, Max Hale, Melanie Jonker, Nathan Kenah, Trent McVarnock, Amy Nattrass, Leah Ngatai, Pareunuora Pene, Anahera Teinakore-Curtis, Anna Wild, Kieran Williams, Zach Williams.

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