Geography student wins mayoral fund
Tokoroa High School student Ross Gardiner has received a three-year Mayoral Scholarship worth $15,000.
The award from South Waikato District Council was announced last week and presented to Ross by Mayor Neil Sinclair.
Ross is in his final year at school and he plans to study for a Bachelor of Social Science degree through the University of Waikato, majoring in Environmental Planning and Geography.
SWDC received 15 applications from South Waikato students for the annual award this year.
A committee of Mr Sinclair, Deputy Mayor Jenny Shattock and human resources manager Murray McAlister shortlisted applications before they interviewed six candidates.
‘‘All of the applicants were exceptional young people,’’ said Mayor Sinclair. ‘‘ During the interview process we looked at a number of criteria like academic achievement, extra-curricular involvement, type of degree the candidate was planning to study and the likelihood of them using the qualification back in the district once they had graduated.’’
Ross said he had ‘‘always had a keen interest in geography and the environment.
‘‘I enjoy being outdoors and think it would be great to have a career that fulfils both of those passions.
‘‘Geography is kind of common sense to me, so it makes it very enjoyable to learn more in an area that is easy for me to understand.’’
Ross, a keen hockey player, had lived in Tokoroa his whole life and chose to study at Waikato University in Hamilton because he could remain close to home and there was a greater opportunity to continue with his hockey.
‘‘It is unfortunate that each year we can only start one new scholarship,’’ said Mr Sinclair.
‘‘All of the young people we interviewed were confident and very capable and will surely excel. Council is proud to support the youth in our district to realise their academic dreams.’’
Applications for the 2012 scholarship open in September.
UNI BOUND: South Waikato District Mayor Neil Sinclair congratulates Ross Gardiner on his scholarship.