This year’s Altrusa Youth Award recipient is known for her extraordinary academic achievements, admirable dedication towards service programmes and authentic leadership within her chosen fields. The Altrusa Youth Award recognises Year 12 students from around the Waikato who excel in school life and are considered role models within their community.
Described as warm, welcoming and motivated, Joanna is an inspiration to her peers. Undoubtedly her most significant feat so far has been her ‘Top of the World’ grade for Chemistry in Cambridge International Education exams last year. Another notable mark was her grade in geography, putting her in the top 1% of all Level 3 students. A true academic, Joanna also achieved over 90% in all of her other chosen subjects: English, physics and AS Mathematics.
This year, Joanna has already passed NCEA Level 2 with Excellence endorsement, while also sitting NCEA Level 3 courses in Physics and English, A level Maths and Scholarship examinations in English, Calculus, Physics, Music, Earth Space and Science and Chemistry.
A strong sportswoman, Joanna shines in badminton. She currently represents the premier school team, is a member of the Waikato Elite representative team and is training with the New Zealand U19 squad.
Joanna is a keen member of the school choir and, along with her singing peers, has competed in many regional and national competitions, including the New Zealand Chamber Music Competition and the North Island Cadenza competition.
Known for her articulate speech writing and performing, Joanna has also placed second in the regional Race Unity Speech Competition 2021, which led her to participate in the Multiethnic Young Leader Conference. Her compelling words have also made her a vital member of the senior debating team.
Excelling in academia, sports and culture, Joanna still makes time to give back to her community. Six St Paul’s students, including Joanna, began the Bankwood Ukelele Group, where the group visits Bankwood Primary School and teach the children how to play the ukelele. Over the last two years, Joanna has been involved with the ‘Over the Fence Ministry’ programme, where she reads stories, plays games and tutors maths to the children at Fairfield Primary School.
Despite overachieving in almost everything she attempts, Joanna is best known for kindness, compassion and sincerity. A remarkable young woman who thoroughly deserves to be the recipient of the 2021 Altrusa Award.