Charlene McGechan’s academic success and fundraising efforts for her hurricane-stricken village have earned her one of 36 UCOL Whanganui scholarships.
A total of just under $40,000 worth of scholarships were recently awarded to UCOL Whanganui students, thanks to the support of thirteen local donors.
McGechan received the Pati Family Scholarship, a new award for a Pasifika student studying nursing. The scholarship was spearheaded by UCOL nursing graduate William Pati, with his wife Anneke and brothers Pene and Amitai – who are part of the opera group SOL3 MIO.
“Receiving this scholarship makes me feel like the work I have been putting into my studies is worthwhile and encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing,” says McGechan.
“I’m a mature student, I’ve got two kids and a husband, and coming back to school is taking a lot of time away from them, so it feels good to get this recognition. My goal is to become a registered nurse, but it is very encouraging to get this acknowledgment along the way.”
McGechan is finishing up her first year in the Bachelor of Nursing after completing the NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation Health and Nursing Pathway programmes in 2021.
Originally from the small village of Muanisolo in Fiji’s Kadavu province, McGechan created a Go-Fund-Me to help with the village’s recovery from Cyclone Harold last year. She raised AU$5098 (approximately NZ$5300) which she used to buy 209 sheets of galvanised iron to rebuild 10 of the worst hit homes in Muanisolo.
“It was the icing on the cake to be a Pacific Islander receiving a scholarship not just because of my academic accomplishments but because of where I come from,” says McGechan.
Other new scholarship donors this year included Bromar Trust, Lions Club of Whanganui, and UCOL Business Lecturer Phil Thomsen.
Thomsen presented the Rosalind Thomsen Scholarship to Katie Hedgeman-Dalton in honour of his late wife Rosalind, who passed away just before completing her Bachelor of Design and Arts at UCOL.
Lions Club of Whanganui traditionally provides financial support to people in the trades, but this year decided to support UCOL students studying health-related programmes.
Akoranga Education Trust Scholarship recipients Amie Simpson, Alison Edwards, and Chelsea Hines had the top overall scores from their scholarship applications.
Scholarship recipients were chosen based on their academic achievements, effort, future plans, character, financial situation, and how they contribute to UCOL and their community.
UCOL WHANGANUI SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
ACTION COACH BUSINESS COACHING SCHOLARSHIP
- Barbara Chau- NZ Diploma in Business
AKORANGA EDUCATION TRUST SCHOLASHIP
- Amie Simpson - Bachelor of Design and Art
- Alison Edwards - Bachelor of Design and Art
- Chelsea Hines - NZ Diploma in Beauty Therapy
- Cameron Marks - Bachelor of Nursing
- Joshua Saunders - NZ Certificate in Music Level
- Casey Roberts - NZ Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support)
- Taylor Head - Bachelor of Nursing
- Kayla Dowdle - NZ Certificate in Beauty Therapy
- Jasmin Martinez - Bachelor of Nursing
- Kelly Conneely - Bachelor of Nursing
- Rhiannon Clutterbuck - NZ Certificate in Hairdressing (Salon Support)
- Stormy Bugg - Bachelor of Nursing
ARTHUR WHEELER LEEDSTOWN TRUST SCHOLARSHIP
- Emma Pickersgill - Bachelor of Nursing
- Arama Tuka - Bachelor of Design and Art
- Michele Balsey - Bachelor of Nursing
- Diana Tamaniyaga - Bachelor of Nursing
- Dylan Stanford - NZ Certificate in Art and Design
- Fiona Te Haara - Bachelor of Nursing
- Sharon Rowan - NZ Diploma in Beauty Therapy
- Nathan Moore - NZ Diploma of Art and Design
CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND SCHOLARSHIP
- Keserita Timu-Stone - NZ Diploma in Business
WANGANUI EDUCATION TRUST
- Tracey Grant - Bachelor of Nursing
- Dennihe Edwards - NZ Certificate in Music
- Bailey Fabish - NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education
GEORGE BOULTON TRUST SCHOLARSHIP
- Viarata Sinbanda - NZ Diploma in Enrolled Nursing
- Kirsty Hart - Bachelor of Nursing
- Mattie Taiwha - NZ Certificate in Baking
WANGANUI COMBINED ROTARY CLUBS SCHOLARSHIP
- Julia Phillips - NZ Diploma in Early Childhood Education
- Celone Tuka - Bachelor of Nursing
BROMAR TRUST SCHOLARSHIP
- Celone Tuka - Bachelor of Nursing
WHANGANUI & PARTNERS SCHOLARSHIP
- Govind Mamundi - NZ Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry)
LIONS CLUB OF WANGANUI SCHOLARSHIP
- Heleni Misiloi - Bachelor of Nursing
- Holly McGuiness - Bachelor of Nursing
- Breianna Chapman - Bachelor of Nursing
ROSALIND THOMSEN SCHOLARSHIP
- Katie Hedgeman-Dalton - Bachelor of Design and Art
PATI FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP
- Charlene McGechan - Bachelor of Nursing