Reaching back to reach forward

Posted by : Cara Armstrong on July 6, 2023 12:52 pm

Asset Recruitment’s new scholarship aims to support excellence where it’s needed most.

Raised in a home filled with mental disorders and family violence, where finances were scarce and homelessness was a reality, meant tertiary education was never a future Elisha considered pursuing.

The Fairfield College student of Māori (Maniapoto) and Pasifika (Samoan) descent experienced years of neglect behind closed doors, where he was privy to bouts of depression and social anxiety. In 2019, Elisha lived with the fear of homeless after an eviction notice was taped to the front door of the rental property he lived in with his mother due to unpaid rent.

Turning his life around

Placed in the guardianship of his older sister proved to be a turning point for Elisha, not just mentally but educationally. From failing all subjects at school, where he had a 15% attendance record to receiving merits and excellences in NCEA and an attendance record of above 90%, Elisha went on to receive academic honours endorsed with merit for NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. In 2022 during his final year at Fairfield College, Elisha received the Award for “Top Year 13 Māori Student”.

Today, Elisha can be found in the corridors of the University of Waikato’s engineering department where he’s studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics. And Asset Recruitment feels privileged to be supporting him on his journey.

Industry initiative

Elisha is the inaugural recipient of the Tae Whakamura – Reach Forward Scholarship, an initiative established by Asset Recruitment in collaboration with some of the recruitment company’s key clients to enable students of Māori and Pasifika descent to aspire and partake in tertiary education.

Pearl Parsons, Asset Recruitment’s Industrial Recruitment Consultant, says the organisation identified the under-representation of Māori and Pasifika students in tertiary education and saw an opportunity to provide mentoring and financial support by way of a scholarship and internships.

“The Tae Whakamura Scholarship gives students, like Elisha, financial support to study at either Waikato University or Wintec – Te Pukenga, as well as work experience in their field of study. This combination of financial support and real-world learning will enable students to develop the skills, tools, and resources to succeed in their future professional careers.”

Supporting excellence

For Elisha, the Scholarship has enabled him to stay at the Halls of Residence on the university campus, lessening the financial burden on his family and providing him with an opportunity to establish a career in automation and robotics, a facet of engineering he has a real passion for.

Says Pearl: “This annual scholarship of up to $10,000 is a commitment by the team here at Asset Recruitment, and our industry partners, to continue to position and foster excellence in Waikato. Elisha is an example of how excellence can succeed.”

One Reply to “Reaching back to reach forward”

  1. Wow!! That is such an amazing initiative and one that will make an incredible difference where it’s really needed and truly valued. This is a beautiful extension of the values based mahi you are already doing in our communities. Kia ora Asset.

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