Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

School leavers hope for the future (+video)

Add a comment

High school is a time for young people to work out who they are and what they want to be. For Savani Kannangara that journey was not always clear cut, but now she believes she's on to a winner.

The Rotorua Girls' High School Year 13 is planning to do a science degree majoring in bio-medicine with the intention of getting into medical school.

But medicine wasn't always her career of choice.

"It's funny trying to work out what you want to do, for years I said I wanted to be an archaeologist - I think because I saw Indiana Jones - but then I realised I didn't like history much after all," she laughed.

"My sister is a doctor but I wasn't even considering it a few years ago, I always thought 'bodies, ew no', but after seeing how cool technology is in medicine now really drew me to it.

Rotorua Girls' High School student Savani Kannangara loves science and helping people. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Rotorua Girls' High School student Savani Kannangara loves science and helping people. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

"The moment I realised I wanted to do medicine was when I went to the radiologist with my mum. I saw all the high-tech machines in a small place like Rotorua and it made me think maybe I could be a part of that - using it, making it."

Savani said if she wasn't doing science she would have done engineering.

"When I said I was considering engineering I did get comments from some about how it's a 'man's career' but then the feminist in me came out and I'd reply that that was nonsense and having more women in the field opens it up to new ideas and innovations."

She said she had enjoyed her time at Rotorua Girls' High School and was beginning to feel nostalgic about her time there.

"Girls' High has been great, especially the teachers. Being a small school you end up getting to know your teachers well and by Year 13 they are practically friends.

"The great thing about growing up in Rotorua is that you don't get lost in a crowd and more opportunities seem to come up."

Savani said she hoped to be travelling and possibly have her own clinic in 10 years' time.

"As long as I am using machines while still meeting and helping people, I think that would be pretty cool."

When asked what advice she would give her younger self, Savani said that was easy.

"It sounds cliche but just take every opportunity that comes your way and do things that fuel your passion."

Shayne Jacobs-Cooke
Shayne Jacobs-Cooke


Shayne Jacobs-Cooke, Western Heights High School

How do you feel about your school experience?

It's been pretty good. I got to try everything and the teachers were there to help you academically. Western Heights has been the perfect mix for me.

What are you going on to study/do?

I'm going to Auckland to study engineering.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

It would be a toss up between getting offered a scholarship for Auckland or attending the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?

Well I only figured out last week that I would be going to university so I don't really know. I guess I hope to go overseas and see what's out there. Job-wise, hopefully working with renewable energy, I find that pretty interesting.

What advice would you give your Year 9 self?

Get involved in as much as you can but remember, while it's important to get good grades, you also have to keep a balance and do things you enjoy.

Aimee Bennett
Aimee Bennett


Aimee Bennett, Rotorua Lakes High School

How do you feel about your school experience?

I have enjoyed going to a smaller school, all of the teachers have been so supportive and helpful. Lakes also is a very welcoming school, you are made to feel a part of the community, they integrate all year levels in morning form sessions and this brings everyone together and breaks down age barriers.

What are you going on to study/do?

Next year I am going down to Massey University in Wellington to study a Bachelor of Visual Design Communication with Honours.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

My goal was to obtain NCEA Level 2 with excellence which I did and receiving an award as top student in the year for design. Rowing has been my main sport for the past five years and earlier this year I represented the school at Maadi down in Twizel for the last time and achieved getting in an A final for the U18 women's pair.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?

I see myself doing some sort of design work, I am undecided on what I specifically want to focus on but I have known since starting high school that I wanted to be involved in that field.

What advice would you give your Year 9 self?

Don't stress about the small things and to just take everything as it comes, make friends, manage your time well and use your creative strengths.

Mikaere Berryman-Kamp
Mikaere Berryman-Kamp

Mikaere Berryman-Kamp, John Paul College

How do you feel about your school experience?

John Paul College helped shape who I am today. Through school and the influential teachers I have had, I have been able to find myself and work out who I want to be.

What are you going on to study/do?

I'm going to Victoria University to study a conjoint degree of commerce and arts.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Teaching the whole student body the school haka in the span of a year. The haka was written for John Paul College a couple of years ago but nobody knew it. It was a hard task but now everyone does and I'm pretty proud of that.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?

As long as I am in touch with my culture, family and close friends, nothing else matters, I'll be happy.

What advice would you give your Year 9 self?

To my Year 9 self, I would say to not let what other people think decide who you are. It's so important to feel beautiful and confident with yourself, and I feel that a lot of young people are forced into an image that they're often not happy with.

Tipene James
Tipene James


Tipene James, Rotorua Boys' High School

How do you feel about your school experience?

I've been afforded a lot of opportunities during my time at school and the teachers have been wonderful, encouraging students to achieve their goals.

What are you going on to study/do?

I'm going to Waikato to study a Bachelor of Arts in te reo Maori, philosophy and linguistics. After that I want to do a postgraduate diploma in teaching, going on to do my masters and eventually my PhD.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

That's a hard question, it's been an astonishing five years at Boys' High but my proudest achievement is coming from a low socio-economic area and being the first boy in my generation to finish high school.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?

When I fantasise about the future I picture myself starting a family back in my hometown. For work I would want to be a lecturer at Toi Ohomai or teaching in any of Rotorua's high schools because I want to be able to interact with young people and inject my skills into my hometown.

What advice would you give your Year 9 self?

I think I would go with the school motto - reach for the stars, the world's your oyster. Oh and don't be such a tutu [fiddler].

- Rotorua Daily Post

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 25 May 2017 01:59:47 Processing Time: 699ms