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Marama Elkington

I am currently studying a Certificate In Health Science at the University of Auckland.

I live with my Aunt in Ellerslie, while I attend classes based in Glen Innes, which are quite a distance from each other.

The transition from College to University has included a huge increase in assignments, with smaller timeframes for deadlines.

It was especially hard as I had to balance my trainings for waka ama, so that I could attend the 2016 Waka Ama World Sprints in Australia (I came second in the open women division, and my team won 2 golds in the 500m and 1000m races).

I like the sheer size of Auckland and being around so many cool places, but I miss the smallness of Porirua and being able to travel places quicker.

Most importantly I miss being away from my family, but I have my Aunt and I have made so many friends who keep me sane, and are so vital in helping me to study. I think I have grown in professionalism as a student, and have become accustomed to the policies and systems in place within the university.

This scholarship has allowed me to solely focus on my studies, rather than having to use my time looking for other financial assistance options to pay for university resources. I was able to purchase a new laptop which has been essential in assisting me in assignments, studies, and keeping in touch for important school emails and functions. It also gave me an incentive, as I knew people have invested in me and I did not want to let them down.

I am truly grateful to everyone involved with Trust Porirua for investing, and believing in me enough to be a part of my life's journey. I hope that I can portray my thanks through the success of my studies.

Nga mihi,