Two Western Bay students are the first recipients of the Waitaha-A-Hei/University of Waikato Scholarships, worth $14,500 each.
Te Puke High School’s Travis Moke and Shyanne Erueti from Tauranga Girls’ College are the first in their respective whanau to go to university.
“Overwhelmed and grateful,” was the talented Year 13 students’ reaction to the awards.
Travis is delighted with the support from iwi and the community.
“It just felt good to be getting the recognition for all the hard work,” he says. “I was really glad to see the support coming from the local iwi. They put in a lot of work to be able to offer us this scholarship and I’m eternally grateful for everything they have done.”
Travis also received the coveted Te Paewao o te Rangi Scholarship worth $25,000 at Te Puke High School’s recent prize giving, while Shyanne received a Ko Te Tangata Scholarship worth $3000 at the Tauranga Girls’ College ceremony.
“For me and Shyanne, that is our whole first year of fees and halls of residence covered,” Travis says.
The talented actor and multiple speech competition winner will study a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Chemistry at Waikato from next year.
The top performing all-rounder, who is also a lifeguard with Pukehina Surf Rescue, is keen to pursue a career in environmental science, studying soil science and water.
Shyanne grew up on a farm in the Kaimai Range and is heavily involved in the arts. Three years ago she reluctantly joined the school choir, which she admits was the best thing she could have done.
“Thanks to the support of the College I grew confidence in myself again. They allowed me to be my true self,” she says.
“Now I’ve grown into a beautiful, strong, independent young wahine who has come out of her little shy shell.”
Shyanne was the 2018 Student Leader, sat on the Student Council and took a lead role in the joint Tauranga Girls’ and Tauranga Boys’ production of Beauty and the Beast.
She has enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Theatre Studies, leading to a Graduate Diploma in Teaching.