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Source: University of Waikato

Ashton Ledger, a postgraduate student, teaching fellow and promising multimedia producer moulded his own path to success from a young age, with the help of his family, teachers and careers advisors at Rotorua Boys High School.

While in high school, Ashton created a multimedia club with a few friends. The club produced five films, where each member took turns in the various roles including screenwriter, director, actor and producer.

Lynda Walsh, one of Ashton’s high school teachers, noted Ashton’s love for multimedia and encouraged him to follow his passion. He explained how without the push from his teachers at Rotorua Boys High School, he probably wouldn’t have attended university.

Walsh also helped motivate Ashton to apply for the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship at the University of Waikato, which offers recipients up to $10,000 for each year of study and a supportive environment where they can grow into exceptional leaders.

Through this scholarship, Ashton also received the Step Higher Award, which is granted to Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars who go above and beyond the expectations. Those who receive this award have the opportunity to travel to Nepal, to trek through the Khumbu Valley and contribute to the communities that Sir Edmund Hillary was so fond of.

Ashton’s favourite memory from his trek was when he was finishing, “I remember hearing the voices of the Nepalese singing the national anthem echo through the mountains as we were returning from our trek through the Himalayas.”

“It was one of those experiences that I will always remember. I hope to return at some point soon to see how Nepal has changed since my trip.”

Greg O’Carroll, High Performance Student Scholarship Manager, has been involved in the Hillary programme for 13 years and credits Ashton as a perfect example of the programme’s belief: ‘Together, we believe the impossible is a summit to be conquered.’

“Ashton lives and breathes the Hillary programme. Like everyone, he’s had his challenges, but he doesn’t let them define him. In fact he’s learned, developed and grown from them, which is what we hope all of our Hillary Scholars are able to achieve.”

Ashton is in his final year in a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Screen and Media Studies on our Hamilton campus and is a current online Teaching Fellow at the University’s joint institute, Zhejiang University City College (ZUCC), where he teaches media.

Applications for the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship close on 31 August. Learn more about the scholarship and apply to the University of Waikato.