Kia Ora, my name is Tatiana Phoenix O’Keeffe-Pauu. I am of Maori/Samoan descent and was born in Bundaberg, Australia, on May 20, 2003, resulting in me being the eldest of 6. My mother has struggled financially for most of our lives as she has been a single mother. Thus, we moved to New Zealand in 2009 in the hopes that we were able to connect with our extended family members, although that became a distant reality. Thus we were left in an unfamiliar country with a lack of support. Although, the hardships we faced unconsciously became my motivation to strive for excellence. Hence, resulting in my ambition to approach university. My academic and leadership successes from my time at Papakura High school are evidence of the determination and potential I have. During my time at Papakura High school, I have worked hard to exceed expectations ensuring I uphold fantastic grades and take every opportunity. In all three levels of NCEA, I achieved excellence endorsement, all whilst being heavily involved with extra-curricular groups. While at high school, the most incredible privilege I was given was Kaitiaki Whanau(head prefect), where I was given the opportunity to be a positive influence on the students. Now that my journey at high school is over, I will begin a new one at Otago University, where I will be studying law and accommodating in one of the halls provided by the university.

Kia ora, my name is Taylor Bell. I am 18 years old and I live with my mum, dad, and older sister Paige. We have been living in Papakura for roughly 6 years. 

I come from a competitive and spirited family. Sports have been a part of my life forever, and they continue to be one of my biggest passions in life. I did track and field for 12 years, and even ended up with two national medals in my event in 2018 and 2019. I’ve been playing football for the last 11 years and it stands as my biggest passion currently, and I plan to continue playing into next year when I attend university. 

In saying that, this year I was my school's 1st XI Girls Football Team Captain and I have been a valued member for the last five years. At school, I consider myself to be quite the allrounder. I have participated in many sports over the years, as well as contributing to the Arts in terms of productions and music performances. I have held various leadership roles, such as House Leader, Peer Support Leader, Sports Committee Member and Rainbow Group Leader, which have allowed me to work with a range of people and personalities. I have established a diversity group at my school in order to support LGBTQIA+ youth, as I felt that there was a lack of support for this group and speaking on behalf of my experiences with my identity, I would have valued such a group during my times of struggle and acceptance. I have been Endorsed with Excellence in NCEA Levels 1, 2, and 3 and plan to continue my academic endeavours at Auckland University. I am studying a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology in 2022 in order to further understand processes of the brain and human behaviour. I believe that this path of education will enrich my knowledge of society and people altogether. A future career path I plan to pursue is a Clinical Psychologist. I want to follow the footsteps of both my parents who have both served with the New Zealand Police in Counties Manukau and give back to the community as part of my career. I would love to work with at-risk groups; including NZ Police whanau, minority groups and young people in the future.

I’m very grateful to the Rotary Club of Papakura for awarding me with this scholarship so that I can pursue these endeavours in 2022