Scholarships lure students north

JO MOIR
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012
rancis Douglas Memorial College leavers Jonathan Ritchie and Sam Fastier
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
FUNDING SECURED: Francis Douglas Memorial College leavers Jonathan Ritchie and Sam Fastier have full scholarships for Auckland University for the duration of their study.

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Two Taranaki teenagers have ended a dry spell for their college after both won lucrative University of Auckland scholarships.

Francis Douglas Memorial College dux Jonathan Ritchie and proxime accessit Sam Fastier are two of the region's five recipients of the $50,000 scholarship.

The 18-year-olds said their principal Martin Chamberlain was chuffed when he heard the news as they are the first students of the school to pick up the prestigious scholarship.

Sam is looking forward to getting stuck into a commerce degree with plans to do accounting while Jonathan is keen on engineering and is endeavouring to continue his passion for French.

The scholarship pays for each student's course fees, contributes $5000 a year to their accommodation costs and allows for two free flights home a year.

"I'll be definitely using those flights to come home for some of Mum's home-baking," Sam said.

Originally looking at studying south of Taranaki, Sam said the scholarship made his decision for him.

"A lot of my friends are heading south so I was keen on it but the scholarship is such a help I couldn't turn it down," he said.

The boys head to Auckland to start their study at the end of February and both have been accepted into halls of residence.

Once graduated Sam said he hopes to return to Taranaki to live and work but for Jonathan some post-graduate study in France is on the cards.

"I think I'm probably about 60 per cent fluent at the moment so I want to head there and become completely fluent," he said.

The scholarship winners have to maintain a B+ average to continue receiving the scholarship - not a tough ask for these two straight A students.

Taranaki's other scholarship winners were New Plymouth Girls' High School's Bronte Heron and Courtney Muggeridge and Stratford High School's Matthew Sullivan-Brown.

Brodie Arbuckle from New Plymouth Boys' High School won the University of Auckland jubilee award while Sacred Heart's Kate Kleinsman received the Faculty of Engineering scholarship and Breanna Morgan, of Opunake High School, won a Faculty of Business and Economics scholarship.

In yesterday's Taranaki Daily News Francis Douglas Memorial College dux Jonathan Ritchie and proxime accessit Sam Fastier's photos were inadvertently switched.

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