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Student Success

“My seven years at ACG Sunderland have been one giant highlight”

The last seven years have been filled with adventures and challenges I never knew I would face, but nevertheless I’ve been able to rise to each occasion with the help of those around me. It’s taught me that you don’t have to know you’re capable of something, to actually be capable of it, and it’s given me the confidence to know I can handle whatever comes next.
- ACG Sunderland 2019 Head Girl, Stephanie Weatherill

Science enthusiast Stephanie Weatherill can’t wait to navigate new frontiers – and an aptly named scholarship to the University of Otago has been an unexpected and welcome launchpad.

This year, ACG Sunderland’s 2019 Head Girl heads to Dunedin to study Genetics and English (BASc), backed by a $2500 University of Otago New Frontiers Entrance Scholarship.

“I’m so over the moon to receive this. University and scholarship applications always seemed like such a faraway thing, then all of a sudden, I have an email in my inbox saying I’ve got a scholarship for next year. It’s crazy, surreal, and an absolute blessing.”

Applying for scholarships can be arduous and confusing, but Stephanie says thanks to ACG Sunderland, the process was stress and hassle-free.

“Our Senior Dean was super supportive and senior assemblies were held to show us our options and make sure we all knew what we needed to do. Almost every member of staff has offered advice on applying to university since pretty much Year 7, so by the time you get to Year 13 you’re totally prepared.”

As well as giving her a cash injection, the scholarship guarantees entrance into a residential college, making life in a new city that much easier for the trailblazing teen.

“I’m excited by the prospect of living in a new city and by all of the papers I get to take, each one of them focusing on something I’m truly passionate about. I hope to become a published author, using my knowledge and involvement in science to inspire and encourage others into the field. I also hope to convey scientific discoveries in a way that’s accessible and interesting to younger generations so that they too are encouraged to make further discoveries about our world.”

Stephanie’s unique passion has been nurtured and encouraged at ACG, a school which she says has equipped her with the courage and confidence to follow her dreams.

“The last seven years have been filled with adventures and challenges I never knew I would face, but nevertheless I’ve been able to rise to each occasion with the help of those around me. It’s taught me that you don’t have to know you’re capable of something, to actually be capable of it, and it’s given me the confidence to know I can handle whatever comes next.”

The highlights have come thick and fast.

“There are the big things, like being selected as House Captain last year and Head Girl this year, which was absolutely amazing, but also a thousand little things. Like my English teacher rapping Shakespeare to teach us about iambic pentameter, or making Roman architecture out of cake for Classics. Honestly, my whole seven years at ACG Sunderland have been one giant highlight!”