This assists academically talented but financially disadvantaged New Zealand students to achieve their potential through tertiary education and prepares them to positively influence and benefit their communities.

The Soltius Board saw this as an excellent opportunity to contribute to the wider community in a meaningful way by giving a talented student a head start in life that would otherwise not easily be achievable.

Hayley Freeman from Aotea College, Porirua, has been chosen as the first scholarship recipient and she will begin working in the administration and finance areas at the Soltuis Wellington office this year, prior to commencing her final year of school. She will be a part of the Soltius team for the next four years and as such will be included in company activities as if she were a member of the permanent team.

Hayley received a Massey University Vice Chancellor’s Award in 2005 and is regarded by Aotea College as a student with special strengths in working with people. She graduated from the College’s Project K programme, which is made up of a 3-week intensive outdoor education challenge; a community challenge; and a full year of mentoring to help guide students into Year 11. This experience gave her the confidence required to set and achieve her academic goals, which include a number of Merit Awards.

Hayley was a member of the college’s winning team in the Lion Nathan Business Experience, a 3-day programme in which students acquired the skills to plan, develop and market a concept that interested them; is a school house leader and also holds down a part-time job.
Soltius has been impressed by the commitment Hayley has shown to achieving the objectives she set herself at an early age and the way she has carefully planned her study with these goals in mind. She is determined to qualify as a lawyer and wishes to study at either Victoria or Otago University.

Jim Brodie, Soltius’ Managing Director, commented, “Choosing a scholarship student is a long term decision for us, and as such the candidate’s ability to mix socially within our organisation was one of our key criteria. Hayley immediately impressed us with her warm, friendly personality and her enthusiasm and eagerness for the opportunity. We were impressed with the way Hayley supports herself with a remarkable work ethic for someone of her age, while at the same time being able to carefully ensure her study takes priority. We are looking forward to welcoming her into Soltius, where I am sure we will both benefit from the experience.”

About First Foundation

The First Foundation vision is to assist academically talented but financially disadvantaged New Zealand students to achieve their potential through tertiary education and to prepare them to positively influence and benefit their communities.

This is achieved by linking business and Mentors, and by providing a unique scholarship programme through which students work part-time during their final year of school and throughout their tertiary studies. A share of their earnings must be saved to fund their education, with the Partnering Organisation also providing assistance with tertiary fees. The students are mentored, to help them towards meeting agreed goals, and are provided with support and development by the First Foundation so that they can successfully make the transition from school to university, through university to successful completion and then on to the wider workforce.

First Foundation currently has 131 students at various stages of the program, supported by over 50 New Zealand organisations.