The inaugural Legacy Scholarship, led by St. John’s College prefects, has been awarded to a deserving student.
Toko Turipa, in Year 11, was not expecting to win the scholarship, awarded to an existing student who embodies the values and habits of a St John's Man.
“At first, I was shocked. I really was not expecting it, but it actually made me feel proud about myself,” the 16-year-old says.
“It means a lot to me and my family.”
This year’s prefects, led by Head Boy Noah Kaio and Deputy Principal – Pastoral Care, Peter Connell, developed the scholarship, sparked by conversations had at a Marist Head Boy Forum.
“We wanted to do something to encourage good Marist values since it is such a core part of our school. So we decided to make a scholarship for a student who exhibits those traits,” Noah says.
Their fundraising efforts included a staff versus students’ basketball game, followed by a car wash and second-hand sale. The wider school community also donated funds.
Mr Connell says they had a high-quality field of applicants. A group of fifteen boys were selected, before being whittled down to three.
“Toko was awarded a year’s worth of fees ($990), $100 for course-related costs and a $100 prezzy card”. Runners-up Kaden Hura-Mcintosh and George Stent each received a $100 prezzy card.
“There has been a lot of planning and effort from the boys, myself and the PFA but it was all worth it to be able to present the scholarship to Toko,” Mr Connell says.
Noah says Toko is an example of how the values of their school ought to be shown.
“He gives up time and energy for others. He carries himself with pride and humility. Even as a young man, he’s already begun leading by example and making his peers take notice.”
Toko’s parents Gayle Te Whaiti and Steve Turipa were told about their son’s award ahead of time and were able to see him receive it at the final full school assembly last week.
“It is a very proud moment,” mum, Gayle says.
“It was a surprise when I got the phone call from the deputy principal. But I wasn’t surprised because he has always been a great kid, right since primary school.
“It’s just the way he is. He is a gentle, humble person anyway and gets on with anybody. We are very proud of him and just want to carry on nurturing that and supporting him. He deserves the best.”
The financial assistance is a big bonus, she says. “We work hard every year to pay his fees and keep on top of it.”
Mr Connell says they are looking forward to building the scholarship year on year.
“As a prefect group we are quite happy with our contribution to the school and hope it carries on,” Noah says.