Waikato University’s new Tauranga Campus was a top contender for Bay of Plenty teen Paige Thorpe – and a $3000 scholarship has sealed deal.
The ACG Tauranga student has just been awarded a University of Waikato Ko Te Tangata Scholarship. Named ‘for the people’, it recognises academic readiness and strong community spirit, both of which Paige has in spades.
“Ever since I heard about the University of Waikato Tauranga Campus being built, I’ve wanted to go there,” she says.
“I knew it would be cheaper than staying in any Halls of Residence and I also wanted to stay close to my iwi and family, as this is where we are originally from.”
Enrolled to study a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Paige can’t wait to get started.
“I’m really looking forward to the freedom. I want to be in a headspace where I can ultimately study what I’m passionate about on my own terms. The business world is looking up and I’d like to go into the more entrepreneurial side of the sector. I enjoy sharing knowledge and promoting social awareness to others – so if I could find some way to combine both those things, I’d love to create a business out of it.”
ACG Tauranga has prepared her well for the challenge.
“My teachers have taught me so much more than what was in the syllabus. They strive to build our confidence and I now have quite good interpersonal skills. I used to be very reserved and would not speak at all!”
The strong academic focus has also been invaluable.
“Since we follow the Cambridge syllabus, we have a natural advantage, as we can learn a greater range of knowledge at a faster pace. I’m a sponge for knowledge so I love that! I wouldn’t have got anywhere without the constant motivation from my teachers who have always had such genuine intentions.”
But it’s not just her teachers who have created lifelong memories. The experiences she has had, and the students she has met, will also leave a lasting impact.
“One of the highlights was definitely the Senior Retreat as I really enjoyed the tight-knit sense of community you get from being part of a small group. I also enjoyed our trips to the Pop-up Globe. I made such tight bonds with the people in my year group. It will be hard to find friendships as strong as the ones I’ve developed at ACG, but that has taught me to cherish what I have and try to make as many friends as possible. There’s is no such thing as too many friends!”