Two students from St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton have each been awarded prestigious international scholarships to study at sought-after overseas universities.
Serena Lim-Strutt has been awarded the Robertson Scholarship to study at Duke University in North Carolina in the United States, and Felicity Whale has been awarded the Sir Douglas Myers scholarship to study at Cambridge University in England.
Serena, from Hamilton, was a School Prefect, Chapel Prefect and Head of the Mission and Outreach portfolio. Last year at St Paul’s she was named Proxime Accessit, as the second most outstanding academic student and gained five Scholarship Examination passes in statistics, media, economics, geography and physical education.
At St Paul’s, she led the “Over the Fence Ministry”, a service programme where students were active in local low decile schools in a variety of areas including: helping young students to read and play, coaching sports, providing meals, supporting staff, and helping to set up groups for dance, drama and Kapa Haka. For her work, she was recognised with a New Zealand Youth of the Year Award for Giving Back. Serena will study economics at Duke.
Felicity, from Papamoa, was Dux and Deputy Head Girl at St Paul’s Collegiate School last year and gained five Scholarship Examination passes in biology, earth space and science, statistics, classical studies and Spanish. She was placed 10th in the world in Spanish in the Language Perfect World Championships last year, and gained an Elite award in 2015 and 2016. Her talents include being an accomplished debater; a talented concert and rock drummer; and she also plays the Paraguayan Harp, performing solo at a reception hosted by the Māori King last year. In addition, she won the “Crowd pleaser” award in a Mount Maunganui busking competition. Felicity will study sciences at Cambridge.
St Paul’s Collegiate School Headmaster, Grant Lander, says the achievement of the two girls is simply outstanding. “To think there are so few of these highly sought after scholarships awarded in New Zealand each year, and for two of them to be awarded to St Paul’s students, is really something to celebrate. However, there is no doubt the real story around the success of these two young women is their resilience and drive and what they are likely to achieve in the future,” he says.
The Robertson Scholars Leadership Programme was established by American philanthropist Julian Robertson, and is valued at about $100,000 per year for up to four years, and covers the scholar’s study, living and travel costs. Sir Douglas Myers set up his scholarship 17 years ago, for academically gifted students intending to return to New Zealand to become leaders in their chosen fields. The scholarship is worth $60,000 per year.