With aspirations of working for her iwi in Taranaki, Shaye Witehira (Te Atiawa, Taranaki Iwi) is well on her way to achieving this goal.
In her second year of her Bachelor of Arts (Law/Indigenous Studies) at the University of Waikato, Shaye has spent her summers working in internships at the Māori Land Court, Te Kāhui o Taranaki and Te Aranga.
Her academic successes along with her work experience made her a great candidate to receive a $2,500 Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa (Te Kotahitanga) 2022 Education Scholarship. She is one of five uri who received this grant.
“I want to thank Te Kotahitanga for allowing me to continue in my studies and for supporting the dreams and aspirations of our rangatahi,” says Shaye. “This grant has lessened the financial pressure on me, which means I can concentrate on getting my degree.”
Spending her secondary schooling at Manukura in Palmerston North, eased the transition of moving to Hamilton to attend university. This, however, was short-lived due to Covid-19. But Shaye has enjoyed her time studying remotely in Taranaki and is looking forward to moving back to Hamilton when it is required.
“While I was home I was able to get all my study done, and work for Te Aranga who at the time were supporting Covid-19 iwi and hauora kaupapa across Taranaki,” says Shaye. “This on-the-ground mahi has reinforced my passion to work for my people one day.”
In 2022, 149 tertiary and secondary school applicants received $141,000 of education scholarships and grants. This is the highest education distribution ever from Te Kotahitanga.