A Tauranga high school student is one of five Māori students from around the country who has received a $20,000 scholarship for education and mentoring support.
Tauranga Girls' College year 13 student Akira McTavish-Huriwai was among the recipients of a Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship given out at a ceremony in Auckland on Sunday night.
McTavish-Huriwai is of Tainui, Ngāti Porou and Te Arawa decent and is Deputy Head Girl of Learning at Tauranga Girls' College.
This year, she has co-ordinated a mentoring programme focused on supporting Māori and Pacific Island students during their first year of NCEA.
In addition to her leadership work in school, she has participated in the Senior Model United Nations School Competition, the Ngā Manu Korero School Competition for which she was Speaker and Winner (English) and last year, took part in the Summerhill A1 Youth Leadership Academy.
She has also been on the Tauranga City Council Youth Advisory Group for the last two years.
The scholarship was founded to encourage young Māori to help them get into their dream university, and to help them to make an impact on their community and the global stage.
This year's winning students hail from all across the country - Christchurch, Wellington, Northland, Tauranga and Auckland.
Four of the five finalists are young women, aiming to enter the fields of medicine, law, politics and astrophysics.
All winners have their sights set on making a difference for the Māori community.
Finalists, their families, friends, teachers and community mentors attended the celebration, with Korey Te Hira delivering a keynote address, reflecting on his experience pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
The scholarship was given out by Crimson Education. Chief executive and co-founder Jamie Beaton said this year's winners displayed a truly global outlook, among qualities of leadership, community-mindedness and resilience.
"For three years now this scholarship has shined a light on the incredible contributions young Māori leaders have made in their community and see the Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship as a launching pad to extend their impact on to the global stage."