Jessica Richardson Land, who completed her schooling at Spotswood College last year, and Teihorangi Walden from Francis Douglas Memorial College have been awarded the scholarships for science, engineering and environmental studies.

The scholarships are each worth $22,500 and will be paid in annual instalments of $7,500. They are designed to support high performing, all-round school leavers who would benefit from financial assistance, during their university studies. Shell will also provide mentors to help with their studies and offer holiday work.

17-year-old Jessica Richardson-Land is enrolled for a degree in science at Waikato University and wants to pursue a career in earth/environmental science. She says the scholarship will provide opportunities she wouldn’t otherwise have.

“I can’t describe in words how much this scholarship really means to me! I’m so honoured, proud and extremely grateful. I hope to one day find employment in an earth science job which I’m passionate about and that I will enjoy going to each day.”

18-year-old Teihorangi Walden, last year’s head boy at Francis Douglas, is heading to Otago University to major in Geology/Geography with a minor in te reo Māori. He wants his studies to eventually benefit his community.

“Given the chance Māori can have the expertise and knowledge to progress towards a sustainable future. I would like to take a lead role in the opportunity to provide future direction for my people and all New Zealanders.”

Shell New Zealand is an industry leader in oil and gas exploration and production in New Zealand. Shell joint ventures – Maui, Kapuni and Pohokura – account for around half of New Zealand’s total natural gas production and a significant proportion of the country’s condensate production.

In awarding the scholarships, the Chairman of Shell New Zealand, Rob Jager, said it was very rewarding to be supporting high calibre students with a sense of social and environmental responsibility – values that are crucial to Shell.

“There’s high demand for skilled workers in the oil and gas industry. We’re very pleased to be offering the scholarships annually to encourage more participation. We congratulate Jessica and Teihorangi and look forward to their becoming part of our work community.”

A Venture Taranaki report says the New Zealand energy sector, directly and indirectly, contributes around $2.5 billion to GDP and directly employs around 3700 predominantly highly skilled, full time, equivalents.

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