Taita College celebrates four scholarships between three students
Screaming was the main reaction of three Lower Hutt schoolgirls when they found out they had been awarded four prestigious scholarships between them.
Susana Bryce-Alapati, 18, Jonnie Tiaki, 17, and Anna Trethewey, 17, are students from Taita College in Lower Hutt and credited their teachers and community for helping them succeed.
"They stand by you the whole time and don't let you give up," Bryce-Alapati said, "It's pretty much one big happy family."
The Taita College Head Girl has just finished her final year at secondary school and has received two scholarships. One from the University of Otago was worth $10,000 and is aimed at encouraging Maori and Pacific Islanders to enter and excel in tertiary study. Her second one came from the Pacific Orientation Programme at Otago and provided $7000 towards accommodation and fees. With the help of her scholarships, she plans to study medicine.
Bryce-Alapati said her mum was so proud of her that she started crying. "It was overwhelming," she said.
Year 12 students Trethewey and Tiaki both had similar experiences with their families when they found out they were both awarded First Foundation scholarships. These scholarships pair the two girls with a mentor and a sponsoring business for their tertiary studies, as well as providing financial assistance. Tiaki's scholarship has been sponsored by NZX and Trethewey's by Fletcher Building.
Trethewey said she learnt the news as her grandma was coming to pick her up.
"We were screaming and dancing in the parking lot," she said.
As for Tiaki, she said she was speechless.
"I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what to say," she said. "My family was very supportive."
She also credited english teacher Emma Henderson with helping her succeed.
Taita College principal Karen Morgan said she was proud to see Taita College students shining.
"One of my key phrases this year has been 'magic moments'," she said. Seeing these students succeed has been one of those moments.