Back to school and pumped!

July 25, 2012

For Karen Albert, the first day back on campus is not as intimidating the second time around.  She is looking forward to a fantastic year here at EIT Tairawhiti, after successfully completing the National Certificate in Reo Maori last year; she has taken the leap forward and enrolled in the Bachelor of Maori Studies for 2012.

“I always wanted to do the degree, but wasn’t confident enough in my reo.  Doing the certificate gave me the self-belief and skills I needed to move forward and to be honest, I can’t wait!” She says, “I have wanted this for so long, especially when I moved home.  It is so important to me to create a solid environment of Maoritanga around my children.”

Karen has fully embraced the role of a student and last year was selected to represent EIT Tairawhiti as a Student Ambassador in both Ruatoria and Gisborne.  She was also a successful recipient for the EIT Future Maori and Pacific Leadership Award, a $1,000 scholarship that went towards her studies.

Maori tutor Joe Pihema says, “Karen is a model student, she is motivated and so hungry for the reo.  She is not only committed to her studies but has also represented Te Whatukura (the Maori department) with integrity and mana.  I look forward to seeing what she accomplishes this year.”

For Karen, beginning her degree is one small part of a bigger plan.  She has become a member of the Tuhoe based – Ngatapa Marae Committee and foresees herself working with rangatahi.

“I see more and more of our rangatahi unmotivated and without direction, I hope to increase my knowledge of Maoritanga and use it to build their confidence and get them pumped, after all, apathy doesn’t make money!”