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Invercargill Student Wins Mike Pero Scholarship

Media Release for immediate use: Thursday 20 November 2008

Invercargill Student Wins Mike Pero Mortgages Scholarship

An Invercargill high school student has won a $2,500 scholarship to put towards her tertiary education after impressing the Mike Pero Mortgages Foundation selection panel for the 2009 Scholarship Programme.

Kiri Diack, who is in her final year at Aurora College was awarded a $2,500 scholarship, which she will use for her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at Otago University.

Kiri says she was surprised to hear she had been awarded a scholarship, especially as it was a national scholarship with a number of very deserving applicants.

“I was absolutely stoked. It was a real sense of achievement for me as I was the only student in the South Island to receive a national scholarship. It’s certainly put Invercargill on the map! My mum and dad were so proud of me, they even made me ring my brother and sister in Australia to pass on the good news.”

Kiri says winning one of the scholarships proves that hard work has its rewards.

“I’ve always made the most of any opportunities that came my way. This scholarship is very important to me as I come from South Invercargill and my school is the only one in South Invercargill. We are always judged by the people of North Invercargill, which is a more affluent area, so I feel very proud to have won this scholarship, both personally and for my school.”

The Mike Pero Mortgages Foundation awarded two other scholarships to high school students. Alicia Gleeson from Opotiki College in the Bay of Plenty was named the overall winner and will receive a $5,000 tertiary scholarship. She will put this towards a Bachelor of Commerce at Otago University next year, where she intends to do a double major in Accounting and International Business Management. Beaumyn Wihongi from Northland College in Kaikohe was the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship. He will put this towards a Bachelor of Maori and Pacific Development, majoring in Te Reo Maori, at Waikato University.

Mike Pero Mortgages Chief Executive Shaun Riley says the selection panel had a very difficult, but ultimately very satisfying and enjoyable, task in selecting the three final candidates from over 650 applications. He says the standard of candidates was extremely impressive.

“Kiri, Alicia and Beaumyn, are very talented students and we believe they will do very well at university. They are all well-rounded individuals who are committed to giving something back to their community,” he says.

“The aim of the Mike Pero Mortgages Foundation Scholarship Programme is to encourage young New Zealanders to reach their full potential in their chosen area of study.

“We believe that by giving them a financial head start that they will be able to make their goals and aspirations a reality.”

The Scholarship Programme is a nationwide initiative open to all New Zealand students, aged between 17 and 25, embarking on their first year of tertiary study. It was launched by the Mike Pero Mortgages Foundation to deliver programmes that will benefit the community.

Applicants were required to complete an application form outlining their academic, cultural and community achievements and interests, as well as their intended course of study and why they had chosen it.

Shaun Riley says the Scholarship Programme has proven to be very successful since it was introduced three years ago.

“We are thrilled with the response we’ve had from students around the country. In the first year we received 60 applications and this year we got over 650. This Programme is going from strength to strength and we are committed to continue providing options for students who show a real dedication to their studies and who may find the cost of quality education prohibitive,” he says.


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