Students on right track
Three of the city’s young people have got their back-to-school on the right tracks.
Catherine Orr, Jacob Smith and Juan Sullivan start high school this week having been awarded the Esplanade Scenic Railway’s inaugural community scholarship.
Each was selected by their intermediate school to receive the $300 award for demonstrating exceptional service to their school, community and city.
The railway’s Grant Taylor says the scholarships are part of the organisation’s community focus, with the money available to be used for books, uniforms or other study purposes.
Catherine Orr, from Palmerston North Intermediate Normal, was a school councillor, a librarian, set up and ran school discos and added the school’s Star Citizenship award to her Blue Badge award. As well as being a school role model, Catherine has completed voluntary work for Te Aroha Noa, the food bank, collected funds for the children’s ward at the hospital, and delivered gifts and flowers to rest homes.
She enjoys these activities ‘‘knowing that it makes other people happy. It feels good helping other people’’.
Juan Sullivan from Monrad Intermediate is about to start at QEC. A member of St John’s Palmerston North Youth Division, Juan is working towards his Grand Prior, which is the top badge earned by youth in New Zealand.
He also helps out with the Division’s Penguins cadets group, aged 6-8 years.
Heading for Boys’ High, Ross Intermediate school councillor, Refresh team leader and house captain, Jacob Smith has organised mufti days and school events, but also busies himself in the wider community. Jacob worked backstage for the Russell Street School production, has helped out at its One Day School for gifted students, and also contributed to running the technical equipment for Parkland School’s graduation.
The scholarship presentation caps off a stellar year for the iconic Scenic Railway. Supreme winner of the 2015 Trustpower Palmerston North Community Awards, it opened its new engine workshop in September, while 2015 patronage was up 23 per cent on 2014 with some 67,000 passengers.
The inaugural three $300 Esplanade Railway Scholarships for intermediate pupils were presented last week. Recipients, from left, Juan Sullivan, Catherine Orr and Jacob Smith are all starting high school this term. Photo: WARWICK SMITH