A group of Ara Nursing and Social Work students left an impression at the Pegasus Health Scholarship Awards last week, taking home 15 of 21 awards.
Amongst the awardees was Robebeh (Ruby) Sadat who first arrived in New Zealand as a refugee, 15 years ago. She and her family left Afghanistan to escape the Taliban and after travelling to 12 countries they settled down in New Zealand. She's so grateful for her new home that she wanted to contribute to the community.
"By becoming a social worker I think I can give back to New Zealand. I can make a difference," she says.
Pegasus Health holds annual Scholarship Awards for students with Maori, Pacific and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, to help with their studies. The students write a 1000-word essay about their backgrounds and their reasons for pursuing a health career for the award.
"The applicants this year were absolutely impressive. We were mind blown about what's going on in their lives and their overwhelming stories"; says Georgina Hunter from Pegasus Health.
Another of those inspiring stories was Suli Tuitape's, Ara Nursing student. He made the transition from an obese teenager to a group fitness instructor.
"From my late teens I was a big boy. I went through some lifestyle changes from being an obese teenager to being someone who could overcome that and know that you can always do better for yourself."
Suli hopes to inspire others in the Pacific community and wants to work in illness prevention, health and wellbeing. Suli was awarded the Pacific scholarship, along six other students.
All of the Ara students left a great impression. Congratulations to Lillian Neena Woodgate; Vanessa Olliver; Renee Evans; Hannah Crozier; Xiaochong (Wendy) Wang; Jai Chung; Dan (Chloe) Dao; Jann Dee; Elizabeth Varghese; Ferishteh Aliwaisy; Robebeh (Ruby) Sadat; Marie Hutana; Alice Mareko; Keriata Kurene and Suli Robert Tuitaupe.