Stories Archive

Zephaniah Leaupepe

Zephaniah Leaupepe, St Bernards College

Attending Victoria University to do a bachelor of science (Ecology, Biology, and Environmental Health)

Regina Fernandas

Regina Fernandas of St Mary’s College

Attending Victoria University to study a double LLB and Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance).

William Powick

William Powick of Garin College

Attending University of Canterbury to do a Bachelor of Commerce Sports Management

Mirna Isa

Mirna Isa of St Catherine’s College

Attending Victoria University to do a Bachelor of Commerce Sports Management

Hannah Beamish

Hannah Beamish of St Catherine’s College

Attending Massey University, Palmerston North to do a Bachelor of Commerce Sports Management

Charlotte Murray

Charlotte Murray of Chanel College

Attending Otago University to study First Year Health Science

Jessica Pattison

Jessica Pattison of Kaikoura High School

Attending University of Otago to study for a double degree in Law and marketing

George Dalton

George Dalton of St Bernards (the Margaret Ryan Scholarship for teaching)

Attending Victoria University to do a Batchelor of Education 

Savanna Stevens

Savanna Stevens of Garin College was awarded the Margaret (Peggy) Ryan Scholarship and will attend the University of Canterbury.

Leona Coral

Leona Coral of St Catherine College will attend Whitireia to studt a Bachelor in Nursing.


Joshua Ibarra

Joshua Ibarra of St Pats Town will attend the University of Canterbury to study Mechanics/Mechatronics in Engineering.


Angelo Cabauatan

Angelo Cabauatan of St Bernard College attend Victoria University to take up a Bachelor of Laws 


Marisa Raymond

Marisa Raymond - St Mary’s College will attend University of Otago and studying for a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Vitolina Latailakepa

Vitolina Latailakepa - Sacred Heart College will attend Otago University and study first year health sciences to gain a Bachelor degree in Medicine.

Melanie Lui Fai

Melanie Lui Fai - Queen Margaret College will attend Victoria University  and study law, public and international relations, Pacific studies, communication and Government policy

Grace Hall

Grace Hall - Garin College will attend the University of Otago to study Health Science and continue on to study a Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

Maryanne Sola

Maryanne Sola, St Catherine’s College, is attending Victoria University of Wellington taking a Bachelor of Arts in Pacific Studies along with Communications, Religious Education, and Psychology.

Dibora Tesfay

Dibora Tesfay, St Catherine’s College, received the Refugee Scholarships (Halina Morrow and Joseph Kish Scholarships). Dibora is attending Victoria University of Wellington to study a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Human Resource Management and International Business.

Keriana Snodgrass

Keriana Snodgrass, Garin College, is attending the University of Canterbury and is studying for a conjoint Bachelor Laws and Bachelor of Commerce.

Joseph Kulathinal

Joseph Kulathinal of St Patrick’s College, Wellington, received the Open Scholarship.

Joseph intends to study Health Science at Otago University with a view to becoming a doctor in New Zealand and later in India.

Joseph and his family are members of St Francis of Assisi Parish, Ohariu.

Mahlet Teferi

Mahlet Teferi of St Catherine’s College was awarded a Refugee Scholarship.

Born in Ethiopia, Mahlet came to New Zealand through the work of the Refugee Reunification Trust.

She intends to study for a BA degree at Victoria University with a view to working with people from different countries to eliminate inequalities and to support women’s rights.

Joshua Bedonia

Joshua Bedonia of St Bernard’s College was awarded a Refugee Scholarship.

Joshua was born in the Philippines and is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Valleys in Stokes Valley.

He intends to study Computer and/or Software Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington.

Patrick Shanahan

Patrick Shanahan of St Bernard’s College intends to study teaching and to pursue a religious vocation ‘serving God’s children’.

Patrick is a member of Te Awakairangi Parish, Lower Hutt, where he is a Youth Group Leader, a member of the choir and pianist in the church band.

Janelle Divinagracia

Hello! My name is Janelle, and I was one of the lucky recipients of the Catholic Foundation Scholarship back in 2017. This scholarship had been a tremendous help. The Catholic Foundation has financially supported my studies and has provided unconditional faith and support towards my aspirations and goals. As a result, I completed my Health Sciences First Year at the University of Otago with an A+ average.  Which allowed me to get accepted into my dream profession – Medicine. With the ongoing support from the Catholic foundation, I then passed 2nd and 3rd-year medicine with Distinction.

Currently, I am doing an Honours project, which is a research year added to my Medicine degree. The research project I am working on involves using data from the Dunedin Study to analyse how lung function may be related to cardiovascular risk. Apart from studies, I have also worked on a project for He Kainga Oranga.  And in the summer, I volunteer with St John through their Friends of the Emergency Department programme.

Even though I still have a few more years before graduation, I am excited to see where the rest of my studies take me. Therefore I am very grateful to the Catholic foundation. Without their initial generosity and belief, I would not have achieved the things I have accomplished today.

Having support from the church reminded me of a verse from Acts 20:35 - ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive”. Through this, I am reminded and motivated to give back to others. Whether it is for the sick or those in need but also for the community.

Caleb Binns

Thank you very much to the Catholic Foundation for this scholarship. It has significantly eased the burden of living and course costs in my time at Victoria University of Wellington. The scholarship has given me the financial security to engage in the university community, particularly living in the halls of residence in first year. I was able to take part in many activities that first year halls provided without having work commitments, which inspired me to come back as an RA in my third (and now fourth) year. This current role has given me a real spark for pastoral care, which I hope to bring into a secondary school teaching career. 


While I have not quite finished my degree just yet, I've been enriched so far by my studies in Geography, Economics, Environmental Science and Māori Studies. I hope to share the knowledge and passion I've developed in areas such as climate change and resource management, and the importance of kaitiakitanga and mātauranga Māori in ensuring our environment is cared for long into the future. 


Ngā mihi nui! 

Caleb Binns

La Mu Hla

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you generously for funding the Catholic Foundation’s Refugee Tertiary Scholarship. I am very honoured to be the recipient of this award. It has assisted me greatly in paying my tuition fees and school requirements.

I am currently a third-year student at Whitireia studying Bachelor of Social Work. I have successfully completed 3 years in the field of Social Work, with next year beings my final year. My goal is to complete my degree here at Whitireia and then start working in areas such as working with refugees, elderly or special needs.

While attending my studies, I have been involved with Challenge2000 and completed my youth work certificate with them. I have also volunteered at the Salvation Army family store based in Elsdon, Porirua.

Receiving this scholarship has motivated me to maintain my grades and complete my degree. I look forward to being able to give back to the community once I begin my career. I thank you for your confidence and willingness to help me achieve my goals.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

God Bless


Anya MacDonald

Kia Ora! My name is Anya MacDonald and I am one of the 2015 Catholic Foundation Scholarship recipients. I have just completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Education.

I am endlessly thankful for the assistance provided by the scholarship. The financial security it provided allowed me to throw myself into my studies and focus, as well as being able to develop my sense of self. My journey through university has been incredibly eye opening and has allowed me to further understand myself and my ambitions. In 2019, I will be embarking on a Master of Teaching and Learning through Victoria University of Wellington.

My thanks and prayers extend to the wider Catholic Foundation community and all who I have encountered on this journey.

Ngā mihi and God Bless.


Anuilagi (Lagi) Aukusitino

Hello my name is Anuilagi (Lagi) Aukusitino and I was a recipient of the Catholic Foundation Scholarship granted in 2013.

I have just completed my studies at Victoria University of Wellington and I wanted to relay my gratitude towards those involved in granting me the Scholarship.

The first year of university was a drastic change to what I was used to but I was grateful due to the assistance of the Scholarship. It enabled me to focus on my studies rather than my financial situation: which I will always consider a blessing. There have been many changes since my first year and now I am graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Asia Studies and Chinese, minoring in History. I plan to further my language studies overseas at the end of the year.

First and foremost, I thank the Lord, my family and friends for all the support and love that I have received and experienced. I am thankful towards the Board Members of the Catholic Foundation in considering me worthy for this scholarship; Fr David Dowling, Kathy Ryan and the staff at St Catherine's College, Kilbirnie and the parish of Our Lady of the Valleys. I can confidently say that I have grown in both faith and knowledge through my journey at Victoria University and that wouldn't have been possible without the opportunity that this scholarship provided.

Thank you and God Bless.


Yours sincerely,
Anuilagi (Lagi) Aukusitino.


Kham Za Hmung

Thank you very much Catholic foundations for the scholarship.

It helped me to finished the business administration certificate. I have continued to study throughout the years and I have recently finished Computing Servicing Level 5 in Diploma. And I am currently looking for my dream job as a networking administrator and become a networking engineer one day.


Julia Ryan

I am currently in the final few weeks of completing a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Ecology and Biodiversity. I have really enjoyed my chosen course of study, and have been included in the Dean’s List of Science for both 2015 and 2016, an award that recognises academic achievement at VUW. My future plan is to enrol in Post Graduate Study at Victoria University, in either a Masters in Forensic Psychology or an Honours in Psychology. In the future I am hoping to enter a role which studies criminal behaviour and prevention.

I am deeply grateful to the Catholic Foundation for helping to relieve the financial burden of university and supporting me throughout my studies.


Clare Sullivan

Thank you very much for approving a second year of the Catholic Foundation Tertiary Study Scholarship. This certainly assists in easing the financial burden and so I am deeply grateful.

I am now undertaking study for a Bachelor of Arts and Science majoring in Physiology and History, which leaves the door open for possibly reapplying for Medicine at the end of the degree, or for Teachers College to teach Biology, History, Social Studies and RE. I return to Dunedin next week and am looking forward to the year. However, I had a lovely summer holiday at home, and also managed to save more for my studies with a great deal of busking. It has been lovely to be back in the Parish again and catching up with everyone at St Patrick’s church, and to feel so welcome here as if I’ve never been gone.

Jolan Hazelwood (Update)

I write this update with sincere gratitude and excitement. I recently completed my Bachelor of Education (Teaching) degree at the University of Auckland, and have accepted a permanent teaching position at Sacred Heart Boys' College in Auckland. This position will enable me to put my primary training into practice as I teach Year 7 at the College. The gift of the Mother Aubert Scholarship I received in 2013 was of great help.

Jolan Hazelwood-Search of St Patricks College Silverstream was the recipient of the 2013 Mother Aubert scholarship administered by the Catholic Foundation.

Hayden Powick

Hayden attended Nelson Malborough Technical Institute and studied a Bachelor of Information Technology, which he completed at the end of 2012. Since then he has taken a number of short term casual employments, whilst working as a freelance web designer. For three months in 2013 he volunteered in the Solomon Islands as Computer Specialist. During this time he taught Computers at the Don Bosco Technical Institute, a school for Trades on the main island of Guadalcanal, and constructed a website for the Institute. ( Hayden received a scholarship in 2009 for the 2010 Tertiary year.

Hayden writes:

"The experience was very rewarding, both in terms of what I could do for the students and also what I have gained from the experience. My faith is certainly richer, and I have met some truly amazing people. Without the skills I have acquired from my studies, I couldn't have offered so much to the people of Solomon Islands."

Jolan Hazelwood

Jolan shown receiving the Sisters of Compassion Mother Aubert Sponsored Scholarship from Sister Veronica Hurring and Sister Sue at the St Patrick Silverstream prize giving.

Jolan, his dad and grandma all expressed their appreciation and thanks for the scholarship which his dad said will make a huge difference to getting him started with his studies in Auckland next year.

Jolan, who has been invited to the Sister’s place at island Bay to meet the wider community, was described as a truly deserving choice for the Sister’s to sponsor.

Over 100 13yr students plus families filled the auditorium.

Teresa Hoskins

My name is Teresa Hoskins and in 2008 and I was very blessed to be awarded a Catholic Foundation Tertiary Scholarship to help my studies.

Thanks to this taking some of the financial pressure off my academic year I was able to be very successful. I am about to enter my final year of study at Whitireia Polytechnic and I will leave next year with a degree in contemporary rock and jazz music. In the academic year just passed I was delighted to receive an award for being top of my level!

Once I finish my degree next year I will be heading to Massey University to do a Graduate Diploma in Teaching.

Thank you again.

Stephanie Isaac

I've just finished my third year at Victoria University of Wellington (which was a very good year for me with 4x A grades, 2x A- grades and 2x B- grades) and I've just been accepted into my fourth year of study inclusive of some honours courses in Information Systems. I'm still studying towards a Bachelor of Business Information Systems (4 years, with a Management specialisation and a concentration in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology (3 years). I'm spreading both these degrees out over 5 years.

The Tertiary Scholarship I received from the Catholic Foundation went a long way towards assisting me in the transition to university life as it paid for approximately half of my first year at university. When combined with some assistance from my parents it meant that I didn't have to get a student loan till my 2nd year. This meant that, instead of worrying about loan applications and financing, I could spend my first year focussing on how to adapt to university life and I feel this has come a long way towards helping me succeed at university.

I'd like to thank the Catholic Foundation again for the scholarship I received and the assistance this gave me in the transition to university life.

Kind regards,
Stephanie Isaac