Scholarships bonanza for region's schools

19:57, Apr 01 2013
Amelia Cina
HAT TRICK: Former Nelson College for Girls student Amelia Cina was one of the top scholarship students in last year’s exams.

Nelson high schools are celebrating a successful 2012 after the NZQA scholarship results were released last week.

The marks are up, and no-one in Nelson has done better, academically speaking, than Amelia Cina.

Amelia won scholarships in geography, English and science, with two at the highest "outstanding" level.

The former Nelson College for Girls student's results earned her an Outstanding Scholar Award from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, which she said was a great recognition as well as a great financial help.

Amelia was the only Nelsonian to join 53 other outstanding scholars from around the country. Scholarship exams are additional to NCEA exams. They are more difficult, challenging even the highest academic achievers, and are designed to provide financial support for top students at university.

Amelia said she was pleased to have done so well, especially considering the state she was in after sitting the three extra three-hour exams.


"I had eight exams in the one week, it was pretty awful," she said.

"Five were NCEA exams. I came out of the geography scholarship exam pretty much in tears. And I left the science exam 30 minutes early. I thought, I am either doing these all wrong, or I am really good."

She need not have worried.

Amelia won $500 for her performance in the science scholarship, and $1000 each for the geography and English papers, which she passed at the highest level. That tops off her $15,000-total Outstanding Scholar award, which will be spent on university fees in 2014, when she returns from an AFS school exchange in Brazil.

Still just 17, Amelia said she was not ready for university yet, so she is flying out to Sao Miguel do Oste in San Catarina State, Brazil, on Friday for a final year of high school.

Amelia, whose father is from Israel, can speak some Hebrew and fluent German, but she has had to learn Portugese from scratch for the 11-month trip to South America. When she returns it will be to attend university at Victoria in Wellington or Otago in Dunedin, to study something like law and/or politics.

She said she was not sure what she wanted to do, but a career in international relations sounded interesting.

"I don't want to do law because I want to be a lawyer, but law in general because I feel like I'd be good at it, with English and researching.

"I have a few overseas connections too, so maybe law, to do some foreign policy stuff."

Until then, Amelia will enjoy an academically relaxed year in Brazil, which has been hard earned after an outstanding performance in 2012.

"Theoretically the exchange is academic, but I don't think I have to worry about my grades in Brazil," she said.


Nelson College for Girls – 17 scholarships, with three at "outstanding" level. Nelson College – 24 scholarships won by 14 students. One "outstanding" award went to 2012 Dux Ed Palmer for chemistry. Waimea College – 5 scholarships. One of them was from a year 12 student. Nayland College – 12 scholarships, with 2012 Palmer Award winner Marley Richards earning two for painting and drama. Motueka High School – 4 scholarships awarded to Ben Jones in chemistry, physics, statistics and calculus.

The Nelson Mail