Post sponsored by

Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

6 mins ago

Amy Saunders is a first year Bachelor of Business Studies student, and head girl at Karamu High School in 2018.

EIT has announced this year’s winner of the Margaret Hetley Scholarship. It’s 19-year old Amy Saunders from Hastings, first-year Bachelor of Business Studies student. The scholarship was named in memory of Mrs Margaret Hetley, who gifted the EIT campus to the Hawke’s Bay community.

“I’m so grateful!”, Amy says. “This grant will help me pay for my course fees next year and a laptop to get me through a tech reliant degree.”

The panel stressed Amy’s impressive leadership skills and her excellent application in which Amy talks about being “passionate about equal rights, female empowerment and environmental sustainability”. Her referees highlighted Amy’s capability to work effectively, displaying a strong work ethic and the ability to form positive and strong relationships with fellow team members. 

Amy was head girl at Karamu High School. In this role she developed a broad range of transferable life skills, for instance public speaking and people skills. “We also put a proposal forward to make the school more accessible for students with disabilities. We focused on mental health and it was great how we were recognised for having valid viewpoints and ideas.”

After finishing high school, Amy attended an open day at Auckland University. “As head girl I felt an expectation to go straight to uni, but it didn’t feel right. I felt rushed and unsure.” So she pulled out and participated in a six-month volunteering project in South East Asia instead.  

The first half of 2019 Amy spent in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand teaching English and undertaking environmental restoration and community projects. “This experience really put my life in perspective and opened my eyes to the real issues in the world,” she says.

Back in Hawke’s Bay she took a full-time job at a private nursery and had enough time to reflect on which avenue she really wanted to pursue. “I always loved a good challenge. I like to use my brain and creativity. The Bachelor of Business Studies seems to be the perfect fit.” Amy’s goal is to have her own business one day and work alongside a creative and like-minded team.

Amy’s drive and ambition is also reflected in her sporting achievements. Amy captained the under 18 canoe polo women’s team who won gold at the Oceania Championships in 2017. Last year, she competed in the waka ama sprint nationals.