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