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$100k Māori Student Scholarship Sees Harvard Student Return As Mentor Alongside Former Prime Minister Sir John Key

New Zealand’s only scholarship to support Māori high school students to gain admission to the world’s most competitive universities is back for another year. Whether it be Physiotherapy at the University of Auckland or Computer Science at Stanford, these scholarships encourage local students to follow their passion and pursue their most ambitious dreams.

Now in its fourth year, the Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship was founded to encourage young Māori representation on the global stage. Each winning student will receive personalised mentoring and education services up to the value of NZD $20,000 to help them apply for and get accepted into their dream university. The awards gala will be held on Sunday 23 May.

Previous winners have hailed from New Plymouth, Rotorua, Tauranga and Auckland. Their journeys have included those of student Anais Magner of Aquinas College who secured a scholarship to Mt Holyoke College in the U.S, with over USD $250,000 of on-campus study costs covered.

Mount Maunganui student Samuel Taylor, was awarded the scholarship at the age of 15, with aspirations to become the first Māori Prime Minister. With three years of mentoring and tutoring with Crimson, Sam went on to secure a perfect SAT score before accepting an offer from Harvard University and will return this year as a judge and mentor.

Another returning judge and mentor is Lily Holder-McFlinn from Palmerston North, who is studying Computer Science and Law at Victoria University in Wellington, having secured a Spark Scholarship and Victoria Academic Excellence Scholarship.


On winning the scholarship, Sam has said: “I was so lucky to win that scholarship. Not just because I know I was one of the many talented young Māori students who were incredibly deserving, but because winning the scholarship introduced me to Crimson, to Jamie and a whole new family of people enthusiastic about championing me along the way. Applying overseas takes a lot of dedication and hard work. It takes commitment, and it takes passion to have to have this belief that’s entirely unshakeable. But if you have that belief, and you have people willing to support you in that purpose then that is everything.”

Crimson Education CEO and Co-founder Jamie Beaton, who founded the scholarship program in 2017 said it continues to guide and mentor an exceptionally high calibre of students to access priceless education opportunities.

He said, “Crimson Education is dedicated to delivering social equity initiatives that provide students with a platform, mentoring and resources, so that they can make a lasting impact on our global community.

The Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship is an opportunity to celebrate Māori high school students who are blazing a trail through high academic performance, brave innovation and exceptional community leadership.

“From an aspiring doctor who wishes to improve health outcomes for the Māori community to a future Prime Minister with a mission to create inclusive policies to elevate Māori voices, we are proud to see the dreams our recipients hold and the strides that they continue to make,” he said.

Judges in the 2021 scholarship include: Shay Wright, the Rt Hon Sir John Key, Jamie Beaton, Karen Ross, David Buisson, Lily Holder McFlinn and Sam Taylor.

Crimson Education believes in the power of personalised education and mentoring. The Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship program is designed to support students with expert guidance and resources that enable young New Zealanders to shine. The scholarship was created to honour the adventurous spirit of Kupe, a tribal warrior who journeyed to discover New Zealand, while evoking in young Māori students, a similarly bold spirit.

Fact Sheet - Social Impact from Te Ara A Kupe Beaton Scholarship

  • 2 High School Dux Appointments
  • A perfect SAT Score and Admission to Harvard University
  • Scholarship to Mt Holyoke College - 80% financial aid tuition secured to the value of US$267,000
  • University of Auckland Top Achiever Scholarship to the value of NZD $20,000 comprising a guaranteed funded place, catered accommodation and tuition payments
  • Victoria University of Wellington - Academic Excellence and Spark scholarships to the value of $15,000 Spark scholarship for women in technology and a $5,000 Victoria Academic Excellence Scholarship


Biography of Featured Judge & Former Recipients

Samuel Taylor (2017 winner, judge and mentor)
Samuel was awarded the scholarship as a Year 10 student attending Mount Maunganui College. The then 15-year-old dreamt of being the first Māori Prime Minister and to increase Māori representation in Government. In his final year of high school, he secured a perfect SAT score and went on to secure an offer to the Ivy League’s Harvard University.


Lily Holder-McFlinn (2017 winner, returning judge and mentor) 
Lily is one of the five recipients of the 2017 Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship. Since beginning her journey with Crimson, she has received four NZQA subject scholarships, a $5000 Victoria Academic Excellence Scholarship, and a $15,000 Spark scholarship for women in technology. Her interests in technology and debating have led her to study a conjoint degree of Law and Computer Science at Victoria University.

Rt Hon Sir John Key

Sir John served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008-2016. At the end of his tenure, Sir John had become New Zealand’s eighth longest-serving PM. He subsequently became a company director and was knighted in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours. His three election triumphs, skilful political management and enduring personal popularity has made him one of New Zealand's most successful modern PMs.

David Buisson (Returning judge)
David is a senior consultant with Crimson Education. He has a PhD in Chemistry as well as an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He spends time mentoring entrepreneurs, businesses and students for leadership development.

Karen Ross 
Karen is the national director of the Duke of Edinburgh in New Zealand. She also sits as an International Trustee for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, globally.

Jamie Beaton (Returning judge)

Jamie Beaton graduated from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude in 2016 (two years ahead of schedule) with a double-degree in Applied Mathematics-Economics and Applied Math. He was also one of the youngest in the world to be accepted to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business at age 20.

In June 2019, Jamie graduated from Stanford with an MBA in Computer Science and Education Technology - the youngest ever recipient of the Arjay Miller Award (Top 10% of his class) - having simultaneously begun his PhD as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

As Co-Founder and CEO of Crimson Education, Jamie now helms a company dedicated to levelling the playing field in world leading university admissions.

Shay Wright (Returning judge)
Shay Wright is Co-Founder of Te Whare Hukahuka and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 winner. He is currently a Fellow with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship and an Asia Pacific Leader with the Obama Foundation. He is also a Board Member with the Maori Economic Development advisory Board and the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge. Shay is a passionate advocate for innovation, entrepreneurship, indigenous growth, education and youth development.

About Crimson Education

The world’s most successful college admissions company, Crimson now boasts a global student body of 2,000 students who are mentored and tutored by over 2,4000 tutors who themselves have graduated from the world’s best universities including all Ivy Leagues, Stanford, MIT, Oxford and Cambridge.

Crimson students, who come from over 20 countries around the world, are now 4 times more likely to gain admission to an Ivy League university and 2-4 times more likely to gain admission to Oxford or Cambridge than the global applicant. Since Crimson‘s foundation, some 1000 students have received offers from world leading universities in the US and UK including Stanford, MIT, UChicago, Duke, UCL, Imperial College London, LSE, King’s College London and more. Crimson has also assisted it’s students in securing over $68M USD in scholarship funding and financial aid.

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