Halse Family Scholarship
The Halse Family Scholarship was introduced at MHS in 2016 by past student Sam Halse, who attended from 1998-2001.
The first recipient was Sulani Helg, who has completed her first year in Pacific Studies and Public Policy at Victoria University in Wellington.
Sulani says the scholarship has given her the opportunity to expand her life experiences, become independent and grow. “Living in a new city away from my family has challenged me. However, with the ongoing support of my family, friends and university services, I’ve learnt to deal with this in a healthy way.”
Sulani says she changed her course partway through the year to find something she enjoyed more. She says this is totally normal, and is an opportunity to learn.
The 2017 Halse scholar is Munim Ahmed, who is thrilled to have the support as he pursues his dream to become a pilot, training in Palmerston North. Munim is pictured with Sam's mum, Fiona Ferens.
Sam and his family have a number of reasons why they want to encourage students to attend university away from home.
"We believe that every person regardless of their background should have the possibility to attend university," says Sam.
"Some people find that they do not want to attend university because of the potential burden of a student loan. Other students decide they also have to live at home during university due to living costs. The scholarship should help ease this burden.
"The scholarship is focused on students who want to travel to other parts of New Zealand (or overseas) for university. Attending university in a different city allows students to grow by learning to interact with people from different backgrounds, whether it be someone from a farming family in Gore, a politician's child from Wellington or a teacher's child from Ruawai. It also helps the student to obtain simple important life skills like finding accommodation, paying bills and learning to cook.
"We believe that family is extremely important but the pressure/burden of family life should not hinder your ability to follow your dreams."
Sam graduated LLB/BCOM @ Otago, and included an exchange to University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina. He spent three years working as a commercial lawyer, seven months as a backpacker around South America - "the best education I have ever completed". He has worked for the past seven years for initially a Start Up and what now is a global payments technology company (five years in Amsterdam and two years in San Francisco). He is currently Chief Operating Officer of that company.