Careerforce apprentice, Ngakiri Antonovich has been announced as a recipient of the Tulī Takes Flight scholarship, which aims to acknowledge the ongoing importance of education for Pacific families and communities across Aotearoa.
Ngakiri is doing her Careerforce Apprenticeship in Community Facilitation through Fale Pasifika Te Taitokerau in Whangarei after recently working as a Financial Mentor in The Salvation Army’s Community Ministries.
“It’s a real honour and privilege to be a recipient of the Tulī scholarship. I am very humbled to be chosen,” Ngakiri says.
Supporting Pasifika communities through financial mentoring
Through the knowledge gained from her apprenticeship programme, she is able to interact and relate to all people in a safe, culturally appropriate, and non-judgemental way, building relationships for open communication.
Ngakiri’s Pacific heritage is connected to the Cook Islands. She says, “I’m grateful that I can pass on the knowledge I’ve gained in my studies, to others, so they can make informed choices for their financial wellbeing. I would love to lead teams of Pasifika and Māori financial mentors in the future to support our people out of debt.
“I have found the Careerforce way of study very interesting and easy to understand. I love the fact that I am encouraged to contact my Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisor, Deb. She takes all the stress away and I wonder why I didn’t ring her sooner!”
The Salvation Army Community Ministries Manager Trevor McLean says, “One of Ngakiri’s strengths is her love and passion for her community and the people. She is enthusiastic to gain more knowledge, and to pass on those learnings, both by sharing and in practical ways to assist the whānau she journeys with.
“Financial mentoring has been a great vehicle for Ngakiri, she appreciates that she sees the tip of the iceberg and that there are underlying issues that also need to be addressed. This has been a huge driver in her development to serve the people.”
Outside of study and work, Ngakiri is passionate about music. She is a singer, songwriter and musician who loves praise and worship. She plays acoustic guitar, bass guitar, ukulele and wants to learn saxophone.
More about the Tulī Takes Flight scholarship
The Government announced the Tulī Takes Flight scholarships in 2021. They are part of the goodwill gesture, to accompany the Government’s apology to Pacific families and communities impacted by the Dawn Raids. They aim to reduce financial barriers to study for Pacific students. The inaugural 2022 recipients were announced on 11 August.
Find out more about the Tulī Takes Flight scholarship for Pacific people and how to apply.
Published courtesy of The Salvation Army