Chen one of top students in NZ

Left to right, Pakuranga College principal Michael Williams, Premier Award winner Samuel Chen, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Samuel’s parents Mr and Mrs Chen and Thur Borren, Head of Maths, Pakuranga College. Photo supplied.

Pakuranga College student Samuel Chen has won the prestigious Premier Award as well as the top award in calculus, at Parliament.

Chen, the College’s 2017 Dux and a student representative on the college’s Board of Trustees, was awarded a University of Auckland Top Achievers Scholarship, the University of Otago Academic Excellence Scholarship, and the University of Canterbury Top Scholars Award. The total value of the scholarships is $70,000.

Among his other outstanding achievements, he also won the Pegasus Award and the Rae Memorial Prize.

“I’m incredibly thankful to Pakuranga College for providing a great environment for me to develop as a person — not only in academics, but also growth in leadership and confidence. I am also very grateful to my parents for always having my back,” Samuel says.

About meeting Prime Minister Ardern at the May2 event he says: “Seeing the Prime Minster attending the awards ceremony made me realise what a big deal this was. It hadn’t sunk in …until then.”

“The best part for me was just before the ceremony where we got an opportunity to mingle. I realised how diverse people are and how everyone comes from different backgrounds and interests.”

Samuel has been keenly sought by top universities in the country but has decided to stay close to home and take the Auckland University Scholarship studying engineering.

Principal of Pakuranga College Michael Williams attended the said: “To be offered these scholarships, students must not only have an outstanding academic record but also demonstrate outstanding sporting, artistic, cultural or leadership potential.

“The success of our students like Samuel is testament to our College’s commitment to providing them with a holistic education emphasising the 21st century skills needed to be successful in today’s rapidly changing world.”