New Zealand Quota clubs together with the Pye Foundation have much pleasure in awarding our Quota New Zealand Educational Scholarship 2019 to Sophia Guerra who lives in Christchurch and attends Cashmere High School.
Sophia has enrolled to do a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Global Studies at The University of Auckland in 2020.
Sofia was born with a hearing loss and has worn hearing aids for most of her life. Her family immigrated to New Zealand from Mexico in 2014 and she received New Zealand Residency in June 2018. She had only a little knowledge of the English language and struggled in social situations and with her grades. In November 2017 everything changed when she was granted the right to be funded for cochlear implants. She is now able to hear ‘almost like a normal person’ to quote her application. Sofia says she had to re-learn how to hear and how to speak again as a sixteen year old but the result has been an increase in confidence and her grades have improved ‘drastically’.
She gained Merit in NCEA Level 2 and is on track to achieve Excellence in Level 3.
Her references say she ‘has a character of exceptional resilience and determination. The challenges of adjusting successfully to her cochlear implants, her acquiring of an impressive facility in English and her other subjects are significant, let alone for such a young person.’
She is focused on helping those less fortunate such as volunteering at her school’s specialist facility catering for students with complex educational needs and assisting other international students to adjust to the routine of the school.
We all wish Sofia well in her future studies and hope she achieves her goal of helping people on a global scale.