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From Unemployed to Unstoppable

May 2, 2017

EIT Tairāwhiti valedictorian Keegan Spraggs went from being unemployed, depressed and disillusioned with education to a job that’s taking him places via a Bachelor of Computing Systems.

Keegan grew up in Paeroa and from the age of nine he started tinkering with family computers so they
had more memory to play games.

However, uninspired by teachers at school, he took a minimum wage job at the age of 17.

When his parents moved to Gisborne, he moved with them. A year and a half of unemployment followed.

Soon he and partner Michelle Harvey knew they needed to gain qualifications. 

The pair made a pact, with Michelle starting a six-month certificate in healthcare and Keegan his degree.

“At first I wasn’t too enthused but I was able to stick with it because my partner got a job as a healthcare assistant. She’s a really hard worker and was supporting me through my study.

Also the IT lecturers really support the aspirations of each individual student.”

Keegan found a job before he finished studying, as an IT technician based in Gisborne with Genetic Technologies.

“The company is amazing, they look after their staff and care about their people.”

Keegan sees the honour of being a valedictorian and the upcoming graduation ceremony as something that acknowledges the support he received from his partner and family.

His advice to fellow graduates is to celebrate the power of education to transform lives, and enjoy the recognition of the team effort that is behind most academic achievements.