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Inspiring Teens Awarded GABA Charitable Trust Scholarships

( Three inspiring teenagers will have their first year of tertiary study partially funded after being awarded scholarships through the GABA Charitable Trust and the Cartier BereavementTrust.

Auckland students Farran Ram and Iefata Williams and Hamilton student Jack Winter were announced as this year’s scholarship recipients at the Gay Auckland Business Association Christmas party on December 7.

Farran, who is planning a career in medicine, and Jack, who will go on to study arts, both received $3000 GABA Secondary Scholarships that are intended to go towards their first year of full-time tertiary study.

Iefata, who plans to begin studying towards a Bachelor of Health Science next year, received a $2000 scholarship that was administered by the GABA Trust’s Scholarship Committee on behalf of the Cartier Bereavement Trust, which was set up in 2000 in memory of drag artist Courtney Cartier.

The GABA Charitable Trust was established in 1999 and is the fundraising arm of GABA – the Gay Auckland Business Association – New Zealand’s largest and longest running LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) membership organisation.

GABA’s members include business owners, executives, professionals, academics as well as politicians, celebrities, sports stars, actors, singers and artists.

Trust Chairperson, Gresham Bradley, says this is the second year it has awarded schloarships in the amount of $3000, which is in recognition of the increased costs and challenges students face when beginning their tertiary studies.

The scholarships are open to students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, are seen as good role models by peers and teachers, and who have excelled in their secondary education.

“We were blown away by this year’s applicants and it was incredibly difficult to come up with a shortlist of candidates, let alone whittle it down to the three recipients, so the offer from the Cartier Trust’s Chair Karen Richie to enable a third scholarship to be awarded is a further demonstration of the importance the GBLT community attaches to these scholarships,” says Mr Bradley.

“We know that Farran, Jack and Iefata are all destined for great things and we look forward to seeing them progress through their studies into what will no doubt be wonderful careers in their chosen fields.”

Jack, the deputy head boy of Fairfield College in Hamilton, is the second student from the school in as many years to receive a scholarship from the Trust.

The 18-year-old, who established a Queer Straight Alliance at the school and is a voluntary facilitator at Waikato Queer Youth, says the scholarship will provide him with much-needed financial support as he begins his tertiary education.

“Through my studies, I hope to continue my work with queer youth and gain and understanding of the areas that youth need assistance and support in,” says Jack.

At 17, Farran is the youngest of this year’s scholarship recipients. A student at Massey High School in West Auckland, she hopes to put her scholarship to use by studying medicine.

“I hope that in 10 years’ time, if anyone in the trust needs me to fix a broken foot or do a gastric bypass, I’ll be able to repay them by doing it for them,” she says.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Kelston Boys High School Student Iefata has been heavily involved in the school’s Kweenz of Kelston Crew, which supports transgender, bisexual and gay males at the school.

A transgendered woman, Iefata says winning the scholarship will go a long way towards her long-term goal of becoming a surgeon.

“I have chosen this path so that I can give back and make a difference to the community. This incredible gift from the Cartier Trust will mean that I can focus on my studies without worrying so much about how I’m going to finance it.”

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Media Release 19 December 2011.



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