Taylor Auld from Thames has been a good scout, involved in picking up litter initiatives along the coast near his home town.
Now the 18-year-old has picked up something else – a top scholarship worth $6000 from Waikato Regional Council to help fund his university studies.
The scholarship honours Roger Harris – the chief engineer of the then Hauraki Catchment Board from 1959-1983 – for his contribution to the development and implementation of the Waihou Valley flood protection scheme. It is awarded annually by the council through the Waihou Piako catchment committee.
The scholarship is available to students from the Waihou Piako zone who are pursuing undergraduate study in the fields of engineering or resource management, particularly river and catchment management. The application round for this year drew 11 very good applicants.
Taylor, who completed his secondary education at Thames High School in 2016, is currently in his first year at Canterbury University studying towards a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, with a view to completing his masters in engineering management. He then aims to one day lead a team which completes large impact projects.
He received a number of awards at high school last year including the Bowater Cup for creative excellence in science and the Sir Walter Scott Lodge prize for top mathematics student, and was first in Calculus, Statistics and Chemistry in Year 13.
Taylor has been active in scouts for eight years, achieving chief scouts and queen scouts awards. He has assisted with cubs and keas and also been part of the hockey community, receiving various best player awards and helping with other teams.
On the community front Taylor has been involved in organised litter pick-ups on the Thames coast, on the committee for the Surf to Firth Bush Marathon and treasurer for the school ball committee.