Scholarship engineers pathway

  • 20 February 2022

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Graduate Yeni Choi

Nelson College for Girls graduate Yeni Choi was shocked when she found out how much her tertiary studies were going to cost.

Yeni decided to pursue an engineering career because she wants to help people and make the world a better place.

Following the death of her mother last year following a second cancer diagnosis she says it became even more important for her to do well in her studies and to strive for excellence, as it’s what her mother would have wished for her.

Yeni is the recipient of Network Tasman Trust’s Sir Wallace Rowling Scholarship, which sees her get $3000 towards her studies.

“To be part of the engineering community that creates innovative ways to tackle global issues is my ultimate aspiration,” she says.

“I’m passionate about being involved with the healthcare industry to overcome clinical obstacles.”

With the financial support of the scholarship, the multitalented student and accomplished musician is due to commence an engineering degree at the University of Canterbury.

Network Tasman Charitable Trust established the scholarship in memory of Sir Wallace Rowling, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, who was also a Network Tasman Trust Chairman and Director of Tasman Energy.

While the first year of engineering is quite broad, Yeni says she’s already quite keen to specialise in mechatronics, which is a mix of mechanical, software and electrical engineering.

“I’m really interested in the design aspect and the opportunity to focus on developing smart products, especially for use in medicine,” she says.

Nelson College for Girls principal Cathy Ewing says Yeni was an amazing young woman who “gives hugely to others”.

“Yeni’s natural ability is enhanced by a superb work ethic and a strong belief that learning takes place in, and beyond, the classroom.

She is a very talented musician in particular, but also very modest and well-liked by many; a wonderful human being.”

As well as receiving excellent academic grades in art, music and English, Yeni is a violinist and pianist who has also played the trumpet in the past.

She has been actively involved in the Nelson Symphony Orchestra, two Chamber groups, her own ensemble, a school jazz band and an independent rock band, which was highly commended at the Smokefree Rockquest.

She also managed to squeeze in volunteer work at several Nelson events and the Nelson/ Tasman Hospice Shop, a role she said she holds “dear to her heart” following her mother’s hospice journey.

After her family made frequent trips south for her mother’s cancer treatment, she said Christchurch now felt like "my family’s second home”.

At the end of 2021, three students were awarded the scholarship to support their first year of tertiary study including Yeni.

Coincidentally, all three will head to Canterbury.

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