Otago as­sists Toko­roa stu­dent

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For­est View High School grad­u­ate Cor­ban Brown’s de­ci­sion to ap­ply for the Uni­ver­sity of Otago’s Tu Kahika Schol­ar­ship pro­gramme (TK) was as much about prepar­ing for a ca­reer in medicine as it was about fol­low­ing in his brother’s foot­steps.

Hav­ing heard all about his brother’s ex­pe­ri­ence with the pro­gramme in 2011 and see­ing him suc­ceed in en­ter­ing den­tistry, Brown said he knew TK would help him achieve his goal of one day study­ing medicine.

The pro­gramme sup­ports Maori stu­dents through a foun­da­tion year in Dunedin, prepar­ing them for fur­ther study in Otago’s Health Sci­ences first year (HSFY) course.

HSFY is a pre­req­ui­site for those aim­ing to study den­tistry, med­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory sci­ence, medicine, phar­macy, or phys­io­ther­apy at Otago.

‘‘I wanted to look past the ex­pec­ta­tions of me as a young Maori teenager from a ru­ral town and prove that I can do what others thought I couldn’t achieve.

‘‘Pur­su­ing a ca­reer in health isn’t just an op­por­tu­nity to help others, it’s a chance for me to sup­port others and place a pos­i­tive spot­light on Maori and ed­u­ca­tional achieve­ment,’’ he said.

Brown, who has Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahun­gunu, Ron­gowhakaata iwi and Te Ai­tanga a Ma­haki af­fil­i­a­tions, said he was en­joy­ing be­ing part of the ‘‘larger TK fam­ily’’.

‘‘I have been able to learn more about the his­tory of my own peo­ple and un­der­stand the im­por­tance of me de­cid­ing to study in a health pro­fes­sional pro­gramme, the ef­fect it can have on those around me and the Maori com­mu­nity,’’ he said.

TK has sup­ported over one hun­dred Maori stu­dents to achieve their goals.

Brown said ’’It is not a pro­gramme for per­fect stu­dents’’.

‘‘It is a pro­gramme that helps to pre­pare an in­di­vid­ual to be fully pre­pared for the change in lifestyle and ad­just­ment from high school to uni­ver­sity study,’’ he said.

Though he had never trav­elled to the South Is­land prior to en­rolling at Otago, he seems to be lov­ing life at the Uni­ver­sity.

‘‘It’s a beau­ti­ful place and there is so much to see and so many new peo­ple to meet,’’ he said.

‘‘There is so much you can do down here. I still have a lot to learn about the uni­ver­sity but so far I am ex­cited to con­tinue my stud­ies here,’’ he said.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

For­est View High School grad­u­ate Cor­ban Brown en­joy­ing life at the Uni­ver­sity of Otago.

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