A New Zealand college student with a passion for computer science has been awarded a life-changing scholarship to attend university.
Every year, the OCS First Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a student who has a family member employed at facilities services company, OCS New Zealand and faces financial challenges which may prevent them being able to attend university.
This year’s recipient, Rawiri Ngatai, was born and bred in Tauranga, and along with his siblings, was raised by his adopted parents.
Ngatai was bullied and struggled during his Primary and Intermediate School years but says that changed when he started high school and discovered a passion for learning.
“I was bullied and told I wasn’t going to go anywhere in life. Now, my biggest motivator is proving those people wrong.”
“I developed an interest in technology, creating online games and learning how technology can improve daily life. Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, and I want to show people how it can be used for good,” says Ngatai.
Ngatai says his family supported and encouraged him to take up a cleaning job with OCS, where he gained workforce experience in the school holidays.
“Working for OCS gave me an idea of what the workforce is like. My dad is a specialist cleaner for OCS. He works hard and has shown me what a good work ethic is.”
Ngatai says the scholarship will give him a chance to positively impact the community and give back to his family.
“This scholarship means everything to me. Seeing how happy my family was when I told them showed me how much it means to them as well. It will help relieve some of the financial stress that my family faces each year.”
First Foundation CEO, Kirk Sargent says the scholarship sets up our future leaders for success.
“OCS’s commitment to funding the First Foundation Scholarship paves the way for aspiring talent like Rawiri, turning educational dreams into empowering realities that benefit both the individual and the wider community.”
OCS ANZ Managing Director, Gareth Marriott says awarding the scholarship is always a calendar highlight.
“The recipients often come from challenging backgrounds, but they are always bright with ambition, and have a desire to give back.”
Marriott says OCS has sponsored 11 students over the last nine years and each has become a valued member of the OCS family.
“It’s such a rewarding partnership. We look forward to seeing Rawiri grow and succeed in his next chapter.”