Kamo High School scholarship winner John Hicks is not just brainy - he's also a school prefect and student leader, an actor, a soccer player and a champion lifesaver.
Eighteen-year-old John is in the seventh form this year studying English, history, drama, photography, journalism and media studies.
He plans to go to university next year to seek an arts degree before he embarks on a career in film, media or politics.
And he got off to a great start in covering his academic costs by winning two scholarships recently - a Lions Young Ambassadors' Award worth $1000 and a Victoria University scholarship worth $15,000 over three years.
John has also applied for two Auckland University scholarships, one of which will be awarded to a Maori or Pacific student. He is of Fijian descent.
John's parents are Michelle and John Roger Hicks, who works for Portland Cement, and he has a younger brother, Zane, who has been in winning form in the Scholastic surfing contest.
The family lives at Whangarei Heads and, like his brother, John enjoys the sea. He has been involved in surf lifesaving since the age of 6 and was judged the Whangarei Heads Surf Lifesaving Patrol junior men's champion this year.
John has also played soccer since he was 5.
He had the lead role of Charley in the Octagon Theatre's production of Charley's Aunt this year and has taken a directing and studio management course with Channel North Television.
At Kamo High, along with being a prefect John is a member of Whanau Whanui, a Student Support leader and a co-leader of the school Arts Council.
He considers his chosen professions of communications and politics can induce change. As he told the Lions when he applied for their scholarship: "I have always and will continue to work toward making positive changes to my community."