Sunday, February 25, 2024

Local business supports future generations

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Members of Southern Cross Partners Loans and Investments enjoy meeting Howick College Scholarship recipients and their families. In the front row are Erika Sawyers, Jenna Hainsworth, Barry Milward, Julia Milward, Tim Schoeman and Sophie Zaadstra.

Three years ago, Southern Cross Partners Loans and Investments presented their inaugural Tertiary Scholarship (valued at up to $72,000 over four years) to Year 13 Howick College student, Jenna Hainsworth.

Since then, founding directors Barry and Julia Milward along with managing partner Cam Harper, have changed the lives of six more Howick College students and their families for the better.

“At Southern Cross Partners we are firm believers that better communities are created by supporting the local community and that is typified by our relationship with Howick College,” explained Harper.

Southern Cross Partners’ main requirement was that the scholarship be awarded to a talented graduating student who, due to their circumstances, might otherwise have found pursuing tertiary study a challenge. However, the quality of the applicants was so impressive it was decided to award a further one-off financial contribution of $5000 to additional deserving students.

“The calibre of these young people is outstanding. Every one of the applicants is a real credit to themselves, their families and the college.” Harper said.

The Southern Cross Partners team was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with past and present recipients and their families at a morning tea recently hosted by the Howick College Community Development Office.

“I’m so proud to be part of an organisation that is dedicated to giving back to our community and supporting future generations to succeed,” said one Southern Cross staff member who was herself an ex-Howick College student and is a current parent at the college.

This substantial scholarship has been life-changing for the recipients. It has enabled Jenna Hainsworth to pursue full time study at AUT where she is currently completing a conjoint bachelor’s degree in business and international hospitality management. Hainsworth, who hopes to start up her own business, has also become part of the Southern Cross Partners team working for them part-time while she studies.

Tim Schoeman, the 2021 scholarship recipient, has just completed his first year studying engineering at the University of Auckland. Schoeman, who was also selected for the university’s elite EV design team which will take part in the annual Formula FSAE Australasia competition, intends to specialise as an electronics engineer and hopes to one day design and build electronically enabled prosthetic limbs.

This year’s recipient, Erika Sawyers, still can’t believe it’s real. Sawyers, whose family moved into zone to enable her to attend Howick College, sees the scholarship as an opportunity to give back to her whanau who have sacrificed so much to see her thrive. She intends to study a conjoint bachelor of science and bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Auckland next year.

Also present at the morning tea were the recipients of the $5000 financial contribution: Chris Camm (2020), Sam Vaea (2021) and Sophie Zaadstra (2022). Camm is in his second year of an Accounting Degree and Vaea, who plans to be a doctor, has just completed his first year of a Bachelor of Medical Science.

Both are studying at the University of Auckland. Zaadstra, who received the Elite Award for French in the 2022 Education Perfect World Language Championships, intends to study a conjoint bachelor’s degree in the arts and global studies at the University of Auckland with an eye to one day working in international diplomacy.

Southern Cross Partners has found the three-year relationship with Howick College to be extremely rewarding.

“As a business and residents of the local community, we would encourage other businesses to invest in our collective future by partnering with Howick College,” said Harper.

“I’m always happy to have a conversation about the numerous benefits with anyone contemplating doing this.”

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