UCOL Te Pūkenga learners have received over $44,000 in scholarships to help them with costs associated with study.
The scholarships, funded by UCOL Te Pūkenga and local donors, were presented at a ceremony held last week.
65 scholarships were awarded, including 49 Women in Trades Grants. The Women in Trades Grant was established last year to encourage and enable more women to enter into the trades sector. Many recipients spoke about how the grant enabled them to purchase new tools, which have helped them hone and advance their skills.
For Nursing akōnga (learner) Megan Love, receiving the Soroptimist International Scholarship validated the hard work she had put into her studies after the COVID-19 pandemic pushed her into a career change.
"I was very surprised to receive the scholarship. It's a good feeling and makes all of the study worth it. It was nice to receive the recognition and I'm grateful to receive the funds. I live in Levin, so the money will help me with travelling to Palmerston North for class and my upcoming placement, as well as the cost of text books," says Love.
Love previously worked as a corporate travel agent for seven years. She was working in London at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but its impact on the travel industry led to her losing her job and returning to New Zealand quickly before the border closed.
When Love returned to New Zealand, she worked as a call centre advisor on the COVID Healthline, which sparked her interest in a career in healthcare.
"Working on the Healthline introduced me to the healthcare sector and began my growing desire to work in a role where I could combine my interest with human anatomy and be able to help people. I spoke to some of the nurses who I worked with, and they encouraged me to look into it further."
Love is now excelling in the Bachelor of Nursing programme, consistently achieving A grades.
Ben Barr, Danielle Smith, and Talitha Mao-Adams were named the inaugural ManawaTech ICT Scholarship recipients. This new scholarship was awarded in partnership with the Manawatū Tech Collective (ManawaTech) – an industry-led non-profit organisation supporting the region's thriving technology hub. As well as financial support, recipients have access to networking and internship opportunities within the local technology industry.
Originally, only one ManawaTech ICT Scholarship was to be awarded, but the calibre of applicants was so high that UCOL Te Pūkenga and ManawaTech decided to fund two more.
Recipient Ben Barr says it feels amazing to receive the scholarship.
"I work full-time as well as study, and it has been quite a hard lifestyle balance. Receiving this scholarship means I won't have to work so much and focus more on my study."
"The networking side of it has been unreal. I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the industry which will be really beneficial to my career."
UCOL Te Pūkenga Executive Director Business & Industry Partnerships Jasmine Groves says she is grateful for the continued support of scholarship donors.
"These scholarships make a big difference in the lives of our ākonga. For some, it enables them to buy new equipment for their studies. For others, it helps relieve some of the financial stress they and their families face. Overall, it makes achieving their academic goals easier."
"We had an excellent group of scholarship recipients this year and we look forward to seeing what they achieve in their chosen industries."
Images: Top - Women in Trades Grants recipients with UCOL Executive Dean Engineering & Applied Technologies Danny Reilly. From left to right – Doreen Montesclaros, Jing Qiao, Lorretta Wehi, Anna Wilson, Katie Robinson, Sarah Wilkin, Lisa Goldsack, Rachael O'Neill. Middle - Soroptimist International Scholarship recipient Megan Love with UCOL Te Pūkenga Executive Director Business & Industry Partnerships Jasmine Groves.Bottom - ManawaTech ICT Scholarship recipients Ben Barr, Talitha Mao-Adams, and Danielle Smith.