A talented young Oamaru woman with a passion for the agriculture sector has been awarded a tertiary scholarship.
Sophie Hawkins (17), has been given a $1000 North Otago Irrigation Company [NOIC] scholarship for her studies at Lincoln University next year.
The Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil planned to do a bachelor of agriculture science degree and was very grateful to have been awarded the NOIC scholarship.
“Personally it shows that I’m worth something and I’m capable of doing something that I may not have thought I would be able to do. Certainly it will help out with all of the expensive funds next year, which is good for a four-year degree,” Sophie said.
She expected university would be a challenge, but it was one she was getting excited about.
“[University] will make me a better person, and just to learn a little bit more in-depth about both economical and environmental sides of dairy farming, and farming in New Zealand.”
Growing up on a lifestyle block, agriculture had been her passion from a very young age and “being surrounded by a positive farming community has also helped that”.
To be awarded the scholarship, Sophie had to write an essay covering four points relating to farming, and involving environmental factors.
NOIC chief executive Andrew Rodwell said the essay was designed to challenge pupils’ understanding between farming and environmental management.
The longstanding scholarship was intended to enable young people to work in the rural sector, and benefit the industry, he said.
NOIC environmental manager Emily Anderson said a good number of pupils applied for the scholarship this year, and Sophie’s application was brilliant.