Former Matamata College student Ella Tappin has been awarded a prestigious Freemasons University Scholarship at Parliament.
Sir Don McKinnon presented her with the scholarship, which was reserved for top students with strong and active involvement in their communities.
Ella is in her fourth year at the University of Waikato and said it was an honour to be selected.
‘‘I was really proud, the first thing I did when I found out was call my fam- ily. I was quite surprised because it was a really strict process to go through to get the scholarship.’’
Working towards a Bachelor of Management Studies with First Class Honours, Ella also finds time to give back in the Waikato.
‘‘You have to realise that it’s not just about yourself. We all live within a community and we have to pay it back somehow.
‘‘I know I wouldn’t have got where I am without help,’’ she said.
This philosophy has seen Ella coach and umpire netball, and tutor struggling high school and university students.
She also serves as a student ambassador for the university and was chosen as an official department tutor for three accounting papers.
Over the last two summers, Ella has interned with PricewaterhouseCooper and as a result has been offered a fulltime position at the company starting in January.