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Three young guns awarded GABA scholarships

Thu 6 Dec 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Three impressive young GLBT people have been awarded scholarships in this year’s round of the Gay Auckland Business Association Trust Tertiary awards. Rawinia Thompson of Wellington Girls College and Joshua James of Kaipara College have been awarded GABA Tertiary Scholarships of $3000 each, while Sonia Prahash of Avondale College receives a GABA Study Grant of $1500. Rawinia Thompson is leader of the Wellington Girls College Student Council, an executive prefect, occasional student representative on the school board and involved with her school's Queer Straight Alliance. She also volunteers and fund-raises for Victim Support and is involved with JustSpeak, a community advocacy group on criminal justice. Thompson plans to do a conjoint Law and Arts degree including Political Science and Public Policy and intends to work in the political arena. Joshua James is a Student Leader and Peer Support Senior at Kaipara College. He set up a QSA at Whangaparaoa College when faced with bullying and went on to assist with setting up QSAs at other schools. He has served on the Auckland District Health Board's Peer Sexuality Support Programme, the Auckland City Council's Youth’s Advisory Panel and has worked with the Ministry of Youth Development’s advisory committee and as the Youth Representative on its funding board. He plans to take a conjoint Law and Arts degree with Public Policy as a focus and says: “I want to be Prime Minister”. Sonia Prahash was born in Singapore and came to New Zealand when she was nine years old. An accomplished musician and photographer, she was a Young Scholar at the University of Auckland last year studying Maths and Computer science. Sonia is a Rainbow Youth volunteer and is involved with Q West in Henderson. A Wikipedia Administrator, she serves as live user support, extension tester, illustrator, Online Ambassador and is the author of several significant Wikipedia articles. She is also doing a conjoint Law and Arts degree with the hope of working in the non-profit sector defending civil liberties or minorities issues. The awards are offered to students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender are seen as a good role model by peers and teachers and who have excelled in effort and achievement in their secondary education. The Scholarship is open to any GLBT student who is enrolling in a full time degree course, of at least three years duration, at any Tertiary level institution. GABA President Michael Richardson says that while two scholarships are awarded each year, this year the quality of applicants was so high that the Trust awarded a study grant for an exceptional third student. “The awards are only possible due to
the generosity of our wonderful GABA members and the supporters of our GABA events, so thank you to everyone who has helped make this possible,” he says.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 6th December 2012 - 11:41am

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