Student Stories

“Our wellbeing is just as important to Keystone as our grades at university.”

Cailey

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am studying a Bachelor of Design with Honors majoring in Integrated design (Spatial and Textiles). It focuses on how changing the structure and materiality of a space could effect the use and allover wellbeing of the inhabitants of the space. This really intrigued me as my siblings have some strong sometimes quite adverse reactions to a space just because of the type of materials that were used to create/shape/furnish a space. So I would like to engage my learning in this direction. I believe this will make me stand out from other designers and hopefully make me a versatile Spatial designer that understands the inhabitants needs

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

The Keystone Trust Study Award has given me the financial ability to have the technology I needed for study. This has helped me keep on top of my learning from my student accommodation when lockdown happened. Keystone has also been supportive of my goals; personal and academic. I have been given opportunities to make connections in different sections of the property construction industry and taught me how to make those connections. I’ve had great financial advice as well as healthy living advice. I’ve found a group of people who always have their arms out to me when I need them and that has made all the difference in my own drive for my learning.

Read more about Cailey...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

My favourite memory with Keystone trust so far has been the time when I was in Auckland to receive my award. I was so nervous to speak in-front of the whole hall of people and the whole evening I had constant reassurance that I was part of this group of like minded people. I felt like I had just made some life long friends and possible future coworkers. I said my speech and hoped to god people understood me and that they couldn’t tell I was terrified to be up there. As soon as I got down from the stage at least 10 people patted me on the back and said I had done well. It was then it felt real. That these people believed in me. That is my favourite memory with Keystone; when I became apart of Keystone.

How is the Keystone Trust Study Award different from other scholarships you have received or heard about?

Most scholarships I was applying for in 2020 for 2021 were not student focused. Many were not interested on continuing support through students degrees. Keystone is different because they care about their student growth and learning both in study and outside of study as well. Our wellbeing is just as important to Keystone as our grades at university.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

In 2022 I’m looking forward to seeing my own development in my studies as I am finally able to start specialising my focus for spatial design. I’m also looking forward to learning to be a leader; as a Residential Assistant within my Student accomodation. I can’t forget to mention the many new experiences Keystone will give me the opportunities to experience with the property construction industry.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Advice for the new students that Keystone are taking under their wings would be: Don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone in the Keystone family. We care about your wellbeing and individual struggles that will arise throughout the year.

“Keystone Trust provides various opportunities and support throughout the years of study​.”

Andrew

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I study Engineering at the University of Auckland. I chose to study engineering due to my strong passion for maths, the sciences, and advancing technologies. I felt that it was a profession in which I could combine those areas with my passions for problem solving and creating new things. I think that engineers can play a key part of the design and management of the various different infrastructures and systems that we have in place in our society. And I wanted to be able to use my skills and passions to create a positive impact on our society.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

Keystone has made a huge difference to my life and study. The monetary aspect has been really big for myself and my family, and it was particularly helpful this year during the periods of lockdown when my mum was unable to work, and also when she had to have her leg surgery. I’ve always been very hesitant about spending, particularly on myself. And I often didn’t purchase things for school because I felt that it was too much of an extra cost. But this year, knowing that I have money to use on school has made me much less hesitant on purchasing resources and supplies, and I was able to purchase a device, software, and resources that I probably wouldn’t have purchased otherwise. These resources turned out to be really helpful and important to my school work, particularly during the lockdowns. Through this award the Trust has also given me so many opportunities to learn, from all of the site visits and meetings. There were a lot of things that I had never thought about entirely, and various events that I don’t know how else I could have experienced. I was able to experience many different sites and talk to lots of different people from the industry. It wasn’t always easy to talk to people, but I think that’s another thing the Trust has given me the opportunity to do.

Read more about Andrew...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

I think that my favourite memory with the Trust would have to be the site visit in March at the Additive Manufacturing Lab and SGA. I had been to the Additive Manufacturing Lab about two years ago, and it was really nice to see people I had met back then still at the lab, and it was so interesting to see how much additive manufacturing had developed in just two years. And the potential applications within planning and construction were so interesting, and though not yet entirely viable it seemed like there were so many things to come in the future. The visit to SGA was definitely something I didn’t expect, and I was blown away by the amount of detail and subtle aspects that Dave and the team had considered in their own building and the work they do. I was introduced to a lot of new ways that buildings can be designed in order to make them more efficient and friendly in lots of different ways. The visit was something that was really interesting and also made me think a little more about these sorts of small things that require just a little extra thought, to create a large positive impact. The day overall was very fun, I hadn’t gone on the trains for a long time now, so it was interesting to see how that had changed a little bit. And it was fun to talk to some of the other students during the visit and just walking to SGA.

How is the Keystone Trust Study Award different from other scholarships you have received or heard about?

The Keystone Trust Study Award is different from other scholarships, because most other scholarships only provide short term monetary support. Whereas the Keystone Trust provides various opportunities and support throughout the years of study. Just from the one year of being with the Trust I’ve definitely felt the large amount of support and kindness from everyone. It’s great to be able to talk to, and interact with, people that have a similar goal and interest as myself. And to be able to meet and learn so much about all of the real life situations that I am exposed to has been really beneficial, experiences that I don’t think any other other scholarship could have provided.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

I’m really looking forward to specialising in my degree next year, and having more options to study my areas of interest. I’m also looking forward to just going back onto campus and being able to live a, hopefully, normal school year again.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

I think that being transparent and open is something that is quite important. Being transparent means that you’re not putting a barrier between yourself, and means that people can see who you are. This is something that I’m not the best at when I first meet people and in situations like interviews. I’ve definitely had times when I felt like I hadn’t been able to truly show who I was and what I believe in, because I was too shy and closed up. Your application or interview are the only way that someone is going to get to know you, so whether it be by pen or face to face I think trying to show who you are is one of the most important things to do.

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“I want to be one of the women who is able to lead in the industry​.”

Christina

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am currently studying engineering and hoping to specialise in Structural engineering. I have always had a passion for design and in particular, architecture. However, I chose not to go into architecture as I felt studying engineering catered towards my skills better. In a male dominated industry, I want to be one of the women who is able to lead in the industry.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

The Keystone Trust Study Award has impacted my life in more ways than I’ve realised. The Keystone family is welcoming and have always been there to help me above and beyond. Not only has the financial aid helped me to feel more secure into the new transition in my life which has relieved immense stress especially in the midst of the pandemic, but I am grateful to have attended all the events Keystone has organised. Through these events, I have had the opportunity to learn how to become more confident and form relationships with sponsors and fellow Keystone students.

Read more about Christina...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

My favourite memory with Keystone has been the Rugby lunch. It was a beautiful venue and was such a great event for the students to engage with the sponsor family. The atmosphere was alive and it was a great time for the students and sponsor family to connect.

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

Through the events Keystone has organised, I have been able to learn, connect and network with our sponsor family. It is great to have sponsors in different sectors of the industry and gain insight into learning about what they do..

How is the Keystone Trust Study Award different from other scholarships you have received or heard about?

The Keystone Trust Study Award offers much more than financial aid which comes with standard scholarships. With Keystone, they welcome you into a family and provide support for you personally and have the resources to guide you through the beginning of your career. It allows you to connect with fellow students as well as people already working in the industry. Through the networking events, Keystone provides you with the opportunity to gain confidence in networking and insight into the industry.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

In 2022, I am looking forward to potentially the opportunity to flat and gain more independence as well as specialising in my degree. I also look forward to meeting my mentor and balancing study and work.

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Don’t doubt yourself. Apply for the scholarship and be yourself. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!

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“This scholarship consists of a loving family who cares about the wellbeing of their students with the goal to help them in many ways that I could never have imagined​.”

Makana

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am studying towards a bachelor of engineering because I hope to use science and mathematics to find solutions to our problems.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

This study award helped me to prepare for my first year of university financially, physically and mentally. I felt less stressed because I gained a lot of valuable tips from the workshops, support from the trust, and the financial support that helped me with transportation, course books, and a suitable device to aid my study. 

Read more about Makana...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

Interacting with students from different backgrounds and study areas shows how diverse the Keystone Trust family is.

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

Through the use of Zoom and the Keystone trust events, I talked to some of the sponsors and got some insights on some of their current projects.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone Trust Study Award is more than just the money. This scholarship consists of a loving family who cares about the wellbeing of their students with the goal to help them in many ways that I could never have imagined.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

I am looking forward to specializing in structural engineering and working along with my tutor and meeting the new students who will be starting next year

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Do not be afraid to express your culture and identity because diversity is key to finding solutions to our problem.

“it means I can make great connections and gain valuable experience from meeting people from real companies​.”

Ānaru

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

Bachelor of Engineering with Honors (Natural Resources). I chose this degree as it challenges me, it involves me in interesting and creative projects and it allows me to have a huge impact on our society (whether that’s environmentally, culturally or just through solving problems).

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

The Keystone Study Award provides me with awesome opportunities I would otherwise not even come across without it. The Trust’s great relationship with the NZ industry means I can make great connections myself and gain such valuable experience from meeting people from real companies. The lessening of the financial burden associated with four years of study also helps me set up a better career path for myself.

Read more about Ānaru...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

I really enjoyed the first awards night with Keystone, it was such a welcoming atmosphere and I got to meet some really inspiring people. It was also a privilege to share a room with the absolute legend Tiaki Rhodes hahaha. I also found our site visit to the restoration of Christchurch Cathedral quite amazing. It was incredible that we were given exclusive access to such an interesting, challenging and unique project.

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

During a Christchurch sponsor appreciation event I talked with some construction industry engineers for a lengthy amount of time. This memory stands out as I was given some really in depth advice about the process of becoming an engineer and felt really comfortable brainstorming with professionals as a student (I felt pretty grown up).

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone Study Award is vastly different to other scholarships I have received not only because of the exclusive opportunities due to great industry connections but because of the family feel of the trust. Once you become a Keystone Student you become a part of something bigger where there are people directly looking to help you enter the industry and be successful.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

I am looking forward to getting a better balance of study and downtime. Over the course of first year engineering I learnt various methods on how to manage my study time better (mainly through forming better habits and better organisation). In second year I hope to find more time to go surfing, snowboarding and possibly get into playing live music. I am also looking forward to my study becoming more specific to my interests (e.g. by taking structural and environmental engineering courses).

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

To put a lot of effort into writing your applications and to find a way to express yourself clearly in a readable and engaging manner. Also be sociable and be keen to take the initiative to talk kanohi ki te kanohi with people who may have opportunities for you to pursue.

“Keystone has made so much more possible for me that would have not happened otherwise such as meeting other students on the same journey and industry professionals who have generously given of their time to build connections with me.”

Eden

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I chose to study a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland. This is an uncommon combination that has been a challenge but is also incredibly rewarding. Music has always been a very significant part of my life. I have learnt piano and violin since I was five and then started singing at thirteen. Music guided me artistically and strengthened appreciation for my other subjects such as calculus, physics and fine arts. I found relationships between all these subjects which caused me to choose to study architecture as I enjoyed working with different media in fine arts, the complexity, precision and dedicated study needed in taking mathematics and science and the correlations found between music and the other subjects. A main driver in studying these two degrees together is the hope that I will continue finding relationships between the two, culminating in the practice of designing acoustic architecture such as concert halls, recording studios and other performance venues to enhance the ongoing performance and celebration of art and culture.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

Being a recipient of the Keystone Trust Study Award has given me so much more than just financial aid. It goes without saying how much I have appreciated the extra help in terms of paying for accommodation near the University and the costs incurred in relation to both degrees but what has made a difference and been greatly valued is the Trust’s support, care, help with university study, and wonderful guidance in the professional field. Keystone has made so much more possible for me that would have not happened otherwise such as meeting other students on the same journey and industry professionals who have generously given of their time to build connections with me. My first year of university has been enriched and I have been able to have incredible experiences due to being part of the Keystone family.

Read more about Eden...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

The most recent site visit was amazing. It was an eye-opening and inspiring experience visiting the Auranga Urban Developments created by MADE, located near the Karaka Drury area, Auckland. MADE is a property development group with the intention to design cities based on human-centric values and ideals that include bringing people together and giving them a sense of true belonging through courage, integrity, vision, ingenuity and care. Seeing these intentions realised at the Auranga Development was an amazing opportunity to learn more about what is actually important and needed in society as future property leaders.

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

This year has brought about some valuable opportunities for me and I have had the privilege to connect with Warren & Mahoney for a few visits to the firm and a valuable “Architecture 101 – transition from study to practice” talk presented at the studio.

These opportunities are very helpful in the learning journey of student but are also awesome connections to make and continue. Being able to see clearly as to what future might hold is incredibly inspirational and having opportunities to visit a firm on a working day, experience what is it like in reality and talk to the graduate employees about how they worked to their positions is one of the most valuable things for a student that has been made possible through Keystone Trust and their sponsors.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone Scholarship in my mind is not really a scholarship because it is so much more! Receiving a scholarship is wonderful, the money is very useful and it can be noted on a resume because it takes effort and eligibility to receive one. However the Keystone Study Award extends much farther than that. I have already been blown away by the amount of support, opportunities provided and learning experiences that I have been able to benefit from. Receiving the award means you also receive a support network, participation in workshops, site visits, presentations, learning opportunities, job opportunities, help with everything from university course work to writing a successful resume, a professional mentor who can guide you into the career and field you want to be in, and most importantly, a family of amazing people. Applying for the Keystone Study Award was the best decision I ever made and I realise how fortunate I am to have received this scholarship every day.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

There is so much to look forward to in the new year, however I’ve got to say that the most exciting thing will probably be having in-person lectures and classes at university. I am maintaining a very positive outlook on the COVID-19 situation as it is just crucial to have live studio time studying degrees like architecture and music. I am very excited for another year with Keystone and there is already some exciting activities lined up such as the workshop in February. My coursework will be more challenging but the higher level of projects and singing music I will be able to engage in is something I enthusiastically look forward to. My goal is to work towards an internship at the end of the year!

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Send in the application. Do not doubt yourself. I firmly believe that luck or good fortune or chance has nothing to do with success; any single person has the ability and the power to make their dreams come true. If you think something is too difficult, the dream is unattainable, you are not good enough and you don’t do what you want to do because of fear of failure, or you settle for less, then it is likely your dream won’t come true. However, if you strongly believe that you are capable, you will apply, you will put in the work and make it happen, you have the power to do the things you want to do, study in the field you are passionate about, then with every action put towards your dream, the realisation of your goals only comes closer. We can only benefit from the things we do. We can’t gain anything from something we didn’t do. It is as simple as that. If you think it is no use applying for a scholarship then there is a 100% chance you will not receive it. If you still apply, and apply for many others, you might not receive everything but you will definitely get something, as well as the valuable experience.

It is the same with the process of preparing for university and applying for scholarships etc.

Do engage in activities that will enhance your applications and that you will be able to benefit from. Extra activities such as volunteering, playing sports, applying or receiving school leadership positions, being part of committees or organisations that are doing something you are passionate about, being part of theatre productions or just taking extra lessons in something like a language or teaching/mentoring others are all valuable additions to a scholarship application along with evidence of being a hard working student who is willing to try their very best to succeed, be a change maker and then in turn help others. Doing things that are useful and that enhance your capabilities as well as your personal self will only benefit you. You only gain from the things you actually do.

Above all, keep deciding every day to follow your goals and dreams no matter what. Don’t give up.

“The team at Keystone really understand that every student has a unique background and will undertake their own personal journey”

Michael

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I’m studying a Bachelor of Engineering (honours) at the University of Auckland. I enjoy the technical aspects of maths and science, and I also like opportunities to be creative, innovative and practical. Engineering offers a combination of these things and so presents a career path I am excited to go down.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

My experiences with Keystone have given me perspective and invaluable insight into the journey towards becoming a successful professional. By hearing the stories of students and industry leaders who have already been in my position, I have learned that getting a degree is just one aspect of the process (albeit an important one). Quality hands-on experience and a large relevant network are also important, and Keystone is very well equipped to help with these aspects. 

Read more about Michael...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

The workshop that we had earlier this year was a very valuable experience for a number of reasons. From a number of guest speakers, we learned about achieving goals, the science of learning and how to study more effectively. We also heard from past Keystone scholarship recipients about their stories, and had a Q and A session. This event was not long after I was welcomed as a brand-new Keystone student and so it also allowed me to connect with the other Keystone students and staff in a fun, comfortable environment. 

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

The Keystone awards evenings, sponsor thank you event and site visits have all been great opportunities to meet with industry professionals, some of which do exactly what I am aiming for. Hearing their stories has been inspiring and being able to ask them questions has been incredibly useful. I have gained connections that will prove to be very useful in the future. 

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

Scholarships tend to be awarded to students who are likely to succeed, in order to help them past financial barriers. The Keystone Scholarship does this, but also goes far beyond it. The team at Keystone really understand that every student has a unique background and will undertake their own personal journey. There is heavy emphasis on helping students remove barriers, get past obstacles and gain opportunities that they may not otherwise get. Ultimately, the result is that students are much better equipped to achieve their dreams and fulfil their potential. 

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Specialising further in my university studies and better preparing myself for a meaningful career. Keystone organises a number of enjoyable and valuable events so I am excited for those, as well as any other opportunities that they bring our way. 

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Know yourself well. Make sure you are consciously aware of things like your traits, strengths, weaknesses, experiences, goals and why you are going down the path that you are following. Organisations offering scholarships often want to understand your personality. Introspection is important for you to be able to showcase yourself, but it can be difficult to do on the spot when writing an application or in an interview setting

“The Keystone Study Award gave me the confidence to excel in my papers”

Jett

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I’m studying for a Bachelor of Surveying, at the University of Otago. I chose the Bachelor of Surveying so I wouldn’t be stuck at a desk all day, and I could work outdoors!

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

It’s not just about the money. The Keystone Study Award gave me the confidence to excel in my papers, knowing that if a team of people as qualified as Keystone thought I’d succeed, I would succeed. It’s working out well thus far. 

Read more about Jett...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

Louella and Amanda coming down to Dunedin, to visit just 3 students. Seeing that they cared enough to fly almost the length of the country to see us in person really motivated myself for my studies, and was a great break in the middle of my first Dunedin winter. 

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been put in touch with previous Keystone surveying graduates, who’ve gone on to work in firms in the family. They’ve given me great perspective to the possibilities my degree offers me. 

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

I’ll be undertaking the first professional year of the BSurv, meaning I’ll now be working towards my chosen degree. This will mean I’ll be out and about, working in the field, and completing larger projects, which I can’t wait for. 

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

You’ve got nothing to lose! Spend the time and effort to write your application, as it might just be one of the best decisions of your life. It was for me. 

“You’re also supported by other students taking the same path as you which makes you feel more comfortable.” 

Samuel

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am studying a Bachelor of Architecture and Future Environments at AUT because it will prepare me for the modern and conscious style of architecture needed to successfully navigate the 21st century. It specifically focuses on climate action, social inequity, and indigenous design, all of which I am very passionate about. 

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

This year the Keystone Study Award has meant I was able to live in the Akoranga Student Village on the North Campus at AUT. I haven’t had to travel 4 hours per day to attend University, and I’ve had more time for my studies and a part-time job on the North Shore. 

Read more about Samuel...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

I really enjoyed the visit to Auranga earlier this year. It was inspiring to see how the developers had a vision for what the project would do for the people that lived there, especially addressing problems like loneliness; they have a passion to create a better quality of life for the community. 

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

This year I attended a visit to Warren and Mahoney Architecture to learn about their practice and how they operate. Arch, who showed us around andattended my reviews at the end of the year for AUT, which was quite cool. I have also connected with the sponsor family at events such as the Sponsor Thank You Event and Awards Night, I have also met a lot of sponsors – I just wish I could remember them all! 

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone Scholarship varies from other scholarships because of the connections you can create with people in the industry and the opportunity to learn from the best. You’re also supported by other students taking the same path as you which makes you feel more comfortable. I think what separates the Keystone Trust is that they invest a lot of time to help you grow and become accustomed to the building and construction industry too. 

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Next year I am looking forward to commencing my second year in Architecture as well as beginning my minor in Te Reo Māori. My dad has also started to play golf, so I will hopefully be able to see him more as we share this hobby. I’m also excited about the second-year mentor program provided by Keystone. 

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

The advice I would give is to not be ashamed about your situation or worried about putting yourself forward. There are people who want to see you succeed and are willing to invest in your future, because in the end, that contributes to all of our futures. 

“Having the chance to meet such professionals in a warm and supporting environment allowed me to connect with each and every sponsor on a personal level.”

Nikita

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I have chosen to study a Bachelor of Design Innovation at Victoria University majoring in Social Innovation and Development. My passion lies deeply within creating sustainable design solutions for the future of people, construction and the environment and I could not have a picked a degree that better reflects this. As a believer that all great things always start with great design ideas, I am excited to see what limitless opportunities my future within the field holds.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

The keystone study award has made an immense difference to both my studies and my life. The financial assistance allowed me to move from Auckland to Wellington to pursue my passions and support myself living away from home, a dream I always had but was so doubtful about. My results this year would have never been possible without the support from the Keystone family always pushing me to success. I have also had the opportunity to meet such like-minded students who I now consider some of my greatest friends. The connections I have made through Keystone even allowed me to find an awesome flat in Wellington for next year!

Read more about Nikita...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

There are so many to choose from! One of the best would have to be our visit to Warren & Mahoney Architects in Wellington. Being able to attend an architectural presentation my eyes were opened to a world of opportunity. The thinking and thought process behind each design from where a singular tap needs to be placed to the entire exterior composition are things you never realise when walking down the street but this visit has made me appreciate each small detail within the built environment.

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

Keystones sponsor family are an amazing team of hardworking and ambitious leaders whom I really look up too. Having the chance to meet such professionals in a warm and supporting environment allowed me to connect with each and every sponsor on a personal level. It is always clear how much the family truly cares about you and pursues such an interest in your future.

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

It’s not often you find a scholarship that doesn’t just hand you cash and send you out into the world. Keystone is about creating a support system, connections and pushing you to achieve the goals you thought were never possible with financial assistance on the side. Every time I walk away from a keystone event I feel so blessed, grateful and loved and I do not know of another scholarship that would make a young first-year university student stepping foot in the world feel so empowered.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

I am really looking forward to continuing to grow and learn in both myself and my studies. Next year my degrees undoubtably begins to specialise in sustainable solutions and I couldn’t be more excited to see what this entails. 2021 also brings me my first year of flatting! I know this will be an awesome experience although I’m not sure how much I am looking forward to the meals…

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

Just do it! I was never going to apply for the keystone scholarship as I didn’t think I’d ever had a chance however one of my high school teachers really encouraged me and I couldn’t say no. Put your barriers behind you and believe in yourself because if you put good energy into the world, good energy will come back.

“I came to realise that the sponsor family are very down-to-earth people who are willing to help. Letting us know that they were once in our shoes!”

Maxine

Student

What are you studying, and why did you choose it?

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) at the University of Auckland. I chose to study this degree because people who know me would understand how much pride I take in where I come from. Growing up in a low socioeconomic urban area has created my passion for people which I am hoping to integrate as an urban planner, alongside my passion for design.

What difference has the Keystone Study Award made to you?

As the saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Keystone Study Award has allowed me to gain another group of support who encourage me the same way my family at home does and so I consider the Keystone family as a part of my village. Regular check-ups were made through text or call which helped keep me on my feet throughout the year. I have reached the end of my first year and thinking back on it, I don’t think I would have started uni as confidently as I did without knowing that I have got the support of my village behind me.

Read more about Maxine...

What is your favourite memory with Keystone so far?

All site visits so far have been very interesting and I enjoyed myself at every single one I was able to attend! However, the first event for 2020 has been the most memorable one for me which was the Keystone Future Property Leaders Workshop. We had Dr Kerry Spackman and Graeme Martin who held sessions on study skills and personal motivation, which I found valuable as it made me feel less nervous about starting my first year at uni. I was also able to interact more with other students throughout the team building sessions which was awesome as I got to meet more of the Keystone family!

How have you connected with the Sponsor Family?

I have had the opportunity to meet and hold great conversations with Keystone’s sponsor family through networking events and site visits! Meeting sponsors for the first time was nerve-racking for me because I felt intimidated as they have been in the property industry for so long and I have not, then I came to realise that they are very down-to-earth people who are willing to help. Letting us know that they were once in our shoes! 

Why is the Keystone Scholarship different to other scholarships?

The Keystone Scholarship uniquely stands different to other scholarships because other than financial help, they invest so much of their time and effort to ensure the students are achieving to the best of their ability. They organise events throughout the year which I personally think encourages students the most. For me, there were often times where I felt exhausted or unmotivated to study but attending the networking events and meeting urban planning graduates or sponsor’s in the family reminded me of where I want to be and so I would feel inspired to keep going. 

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Despite the interruptions Covid-19 made, I really enjoyed the first year of my degree so I’m looking forward to continuing studying! Keystone always organises great events for us students so I’m also looking forward to more of those, as well as getting to know our new family members!

What advice would you give for other students applying for a scholarship?

The best piece of advice I received when applying for the Keystone Study Award was to be myself and so I would say the same thing to those applying for this scholarship! It’s so easy to doubt yourself maybe because your friends hold more leadership roles than you do or for whatever reason, but if you apply knowing that you are capable and passionate about what you want to achieve then Keystone will see the potential right through you! That’s one of the many things I love about Keystone, it’s about who you are! 

Our sponsor family