Young Pasifica Awards

By Jane Johnson and Karen Penaia | Posted: Friday October 31, 2014

Congratulations to Karen Penaia and Emma Samuels for their Young Pasifica Awards.

Our two representatives at the Dunedin Secondary Schools' Young Pasifica Awards organised by the Otago Polytechnic, were Emma Samuels (year 10 and of Rarotongan and Ngai Tahu descent) and Karen Sasae Penaia (year 13 and of Tuvaluan descent).

Both girls have made a key contribution to our Pasifica Dance Group, "The Pasific Pearls", with Karen as leader and instructor. They have performed at many school and regional events over the last five years. 

Both girls are also members of the Pasifica and Maori Student Leadership group, Te Tuperanga. This group advises teachers, Maori and Pasifica facilitators on matters of school curriculum and initiatives for student achievement at Logan Park High School. 

They are also involved in exploring Careers Education and the weekly after-school Whanau Room Homework Club, helping other students achieve.  

Karen also takes the role of Kaitiaki in the Whanau Room and makes sure anyone using the room is looked after and welcome. 

Both girls have supported our speakers at the Nga Manu Korero regional and national public speaking events and Emma participated in the Junior Te Reo speaking section this year.

Karen and Emma were given their awards in front of other Dunedin secondary school Pasifica representatives at Otago Polytechnic, their fanau, friends, teachers and also Pasifica tertiary students receiving their academic scholarships for Degree and Diploma courses. 

Around 500 people attended the awards.

- Jane Johnson

In the last 5 years, Otago Polytechnic have been awarding our Pasifika students with scholarships to help them in their future studies. 

This scholarship is to assist Pacific Island students who are willing to continue their studies at Otago University, Otago Polytechnic or other tertiary education institutions.

The Otago Polytechnic Pasifika association always have a ceremony/celebration for our young achievers.

- Karen Penaia (recipient) 

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