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Volunteering first priority for Christchurch graduate

MEDIA RELEASE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2016


Volunteering first priority for Christchurch graduate


Tayla Schaapveld, 22, saw first-hand the importance of volunteering when her home was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquake.

After graduating from the University of Auckland, Tayla is preparing to travel to South Africa next year to do her bit as a volunteer as a health and education worker.

She received two degrees at the University’s Spring Graduation ceremonies on September 27, a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Bachelor of Science.

Tayla will spend three weeks in South Africa working with children teaching English and basic sanitation, hygiene and nutrition with VESA (volunteering eco students abroad).

“It will also involve renovating and revitalising facilities and building and installing sustainable farming units, which allow for families and, in particular, single mothers to start a micro-business and generate income for their family,” Tayla says.

“I’m sure there will be others that have overcome more adversity than I have, however my family was badly impacted by the Christchurch earthquake.

“This was the main reason I decided with my parents to go to university in Auckland. Financially this did cost a lot more and as a result I’ve always made sure I’ve worked part time to supplement the cost to my parents.”

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Tayla spent a semester studying at Stony Brook University in New York as part of the Auckland Abroad programme.

In total 3160 students received their qualifications either in person or in absentia at the Spring Graduation Ceremonies.

Of the 75 people gaining more than one qualification on the day, 72 are gaining two, and three people are gaining three.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon says a university qualification has a lifetime impact on students, their families and the community at large.

“Given that, compared to those who do not hold degrees, graduates can expect to have lower unemployment rates, higher salaries, better career prospects and better health, we are proud of the value that the University and our graduates add to their lives and to the wider community,” he says. “Universities New Zealand estimates this value is between $1million and $4million for each graduate over their lifetime.”

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