Marlborough Girls' College 2013 dux Nerys Udy has exceeded her own expectations by winning an Outstanding Scholar Award in the 2013 NZQA Scholarship Awards.
She had eagerly checked her results on Tuesday morning, not knowing what to expect.
"Being one of 60 students to achieve the outstanding scholarship out of 11,000 students is an amazing feeling," she said.
She was touched by how proud her family and friends have been of her and really appreciated the messages from her teachers. She could not have won the scholarship without their support over the last few years, she said.
To be considered for the outstanding scholar award she had to achieve at least three subject scholarships, including some at outstanding level.
"Having my hard work recognised like this is really great, I am looking forward to not studying so hard for a little while," Nerys said.
Nerys and the 59 other students that received the Outstanding Scholar Awards will be given $5000 per year for up to three years, if they maintain at least a ‘B' grade average in their tertiary studies.
She has decided to first take a gap year and hopes to find permanent work.
"I am volunteering at Mayfield School at the moment and am really enjoying the class 1 and 2 pupils - they are keeping me busy and fit," she said.
She dreams of travelling abroad and perhaps studying in the United Kingdom. "I have worked hard for many years and didn't want to go straight into another studying environment - I was worried I might stop enjoying it," she said.
Nationally 11,000 students participated in the New Zealand Scholarship examinations, with 2386 students achieving a scholarship.
These students are scheduled to receive almost $3.7 million towards their further study over the next three years. The 2013 New Zealand Scholarship Top Scholar Awards Ceremony will be held later this year.
The winner of the Prime Minister's Award for Academic Excellence for 2013 will be announced at this ceremony.
A list of the 2013 award winners can be found at nzqa.govt.nz.
- The Marlborough Express
Have you ever been prescribed antidepressants?Related story: More seek help for depression