Start Smart award - Daniel Kelly (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Winning a Start Smart Scholarship meant that Daniel Kelly could move from Hastings to study teaching at the Faculty of Education and Social work at the University of Auckland without the burden of financial pressure.

Daniel Kelly

“You hear a lot about scholarships for engineering students,” says primary teaching student, Daniel Kelly. “It’s nice to have one for teachers.”

Daniel hadn’t thought of trying for a scholarship until an email popped up after he enrolled congratulating him and saying he could apply for a Start Smart scholarship. “I thought I’d take the opportunity. I said to myself, ‘Go for it. It wouldn’t hurt.’ ”

The application form was online and wasn’t complicated or time-consuming. “It was fill in the blanks and it took about half an hour.”

A month or so later an email came back with the exciting news that he’d been awarded the scholarship – a City of Sails Start Smart for students from outside of Auckland, giving him $5,000.

"It’s awesome. I feel privileged. It swayed me to come to the University of

“I really loved seeing my parents’ faces. It makes them proud, and it makes me proud – it’s very special and I feel privileged. It’s awesome. It swayed me to come to the University of Auckland.

“Auckland can be expensive. It depends on how you manage your money. It’s been helpful in terms of travelling to practicums. It’s meant I could bring my car up and helped me to pay for parking. It’s just a really good financial back-up.”

He’s really happy he chose to study Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary specialisation programme at Epsom. “I really love the faculty. It feels like home. It’s a really relaxed vibe. There’s heaps of support – there’s all kinds of services.

“I just love the teaching degree I’m doing. It’s the reason I came here because it’s the top subject for the faculty. My sister came here. Being the first male in my family to come here, I thought why not go to the best.”