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    'Thank you for investing in me'

    This year’s Te Pūkenga NMIT Ngāti Rārua scholarship winner is Bachelor of Social Work student Sophia White.

    Sophia says her passion for social sciences and love of working with people began at Nayland College.

    “I’ve always loved the social sciences and people-focused subjects. I studied criminology and psychology at Nayland.”

    In her first year of full-time study, Sophia says her goal is to work with rangatahi Māori as they deal with the many challenges of finding their way in the world.

    “I want to help find alternative pathways, especially when dealing with different or difficult situations. Helping people thrive in a different environment that perhaps they aren’t normally used to, providing them with the skills to use in the workforce; that kind of thing.”

    The scholarship is an immense confidence boost on her NMIT journey, she says.

    “I cannot express how grateful I am to have been chosen as the recipient of the Ngāti Rārua, Te Pūkenga NMIT scholarship.”

    “I understand and recognize the privilege it is to have access and support to whānau based assistance, and the money provided will be used to support me in my education over the rest of this year.

    “Thank you for not only investing in my education, but in me, and the work I plan to invest within our whānau in the future.”

    Sophia's mother, Renee Thomas, highlights the importance of taking opportunities that are out there.

    “It’s amazing to have these for our whānau – and I encourage anyone who sees an opportunity to go for it. Financial support while studying is so important; it means you can focus a little bit less on work and a little bit more on study.”

    Our sincere congratulations to Sophia for her scholarship award and her commitment to uplifting our whānau through her future work. We wish her all the best.

    Richard Liddicoat

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    'Thank you for investing in me'