Not too bad for a Ti­tahi Bay girl

Chelsea an in­spi­ra­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Chelsea Grootveld has achieved much in her 36 years and this week she will reach an­other mile­stone.

The for­mer Mana Col­lege head girl will grad­u­ate from Vic­to­ria Univer­sity with a PhD in ed­u­ca­tion. It’s the cul­mi­na­tion of a four-year the­sis that in­volved a study of the ef­fect higher ed­u­ca­tion has on Maori.

It will be a proud mo­ment for the girl from Ti­tahi Bay.

‘‘My fam­ily will be there, so it will be a big night for me.’’

Al­though Ms Grootveld lives in Kapiti, Porirua will al­ways be home. She at­tended Ti­tahi Bay School and Ti­tahi Bay In­ter­me­di­ate and her fam­ily home and whanau are still in the Bay.

She said Porirua had changed plenty from her child­hood days.

‘‘The city has gen­tri­fied a lot,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s to­tally dif­fer­ent now. But it will al­ways have that heart – it’s vi­brant and alive. I love Porirua and what it’s done for me.’’

Ed­u­ca­tion had changed as well, she said, and though school suited her, there needed to be more to help those who didn’t fit into the tra­di­tional struc­ture.

‘‘ There’s a one- size- fits- all ap­proach I don’t like. But other things are im­prov­ing – I used to be a bit scathing about trades, but now there does seem more avail­abil­ity for stu­dents who are in­ter­ested in that.

‘‘I’d like to see us fo­cus­ing out­side the box a bit more, en­cour­ag­ing en­trepreneurs and other non­tra­di­tional skills.’’

The for­mer Cap­i­tal Shak­ers net­ball player, who is mar­ried and has two chil­dren, has plenty of bold plans for her fu­ture.

They in­clude study­ing lan­guages and maybe se­cur­ing a job with the United Na­tions.

For now, her work to get her doc­tor­ate has also led to a con­tract with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, where she re­searches spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion.

Ms Grootveld also trained daily for the Iron Maori triathlon, which was held in Napier last week­end.

‘‘I’m the first from my fam­ily to go to univer­sity. It was a for­eign con­cept at home.

‘‘Dad was a labourer and Mum was at home and helped out a bit with the lo­cal ko­hanga reo.

‘‘My par­ents have seen what higher ed­u­ca­tion has done for me and I guess the mes­sage is work hard, set goals and re­mem­ber that you can be any­thing you want to be.’’

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Achiever: Chelsea Grootveld says there are pos­i­tive sto­ries hap­pen­ing ev­ery day in Porirua, and hopes her achieve­ments show that any­thing is pos­si­ble.

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