Old Collegian John Penyas (2010-2014) has been awarded a full scholarship to Kenyan College in the United States where he will complete a four year degree.
Kenyan College is a small private university that teaches a select group of only 1600 students. Penyas was offered the scholarship just as his one year $75,000 soccer scholarship at US college, Berkshire Preparatory School, came to an end.
Penyas was also awarded a $50,000 University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship, when he graduated from St Paul’s in 2014.
Penyas’ talent on the football field and his musical ability were two of the key factors that landed him the opportunity.
He is the youngest ever player to be selected for the New Zealand men’s futsal team, the Futsal Whites, at the age of 16, and also played for many representative Waikato teams while studying at St Paul’s.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Penyas completed the ATCL Trinity College of London Diploma in Piano Performance while in Year 11. The performance level required to complete this diploma is the equivalent of a first year undergraduate student at university level.
Denis Organ, Penyas’ grandfather, says St Paul’s Director of Music Michelle Flint helped Penyas develop his music abilities which was impressed scholarship selectors.
“Her leadership built up his image as a student. They saw that he wasn’t just a talented footballer but that he had other qualities,” Organ said.