Scholarship alleviates financial impact of COVID-19 for Dilworth alumnus

Like many first-year university students in 2020, Dilworth alumnus Kellen Dudley-Rode had a tough year. He was just getting used to living in the halls of residence and university life when the country went into lockdown due to COVID-19. Not being able to work during this time caused him significant financial strain, however, being the recipient of the Chenery Trust Scholarship (formerly known as the Eileen Clayton Scholarship) helped Kellen make it through his first year of university.

The Class of 2019 student was in his first year of a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland last year. He was awarded the Chenery Trust Scholarship for Tertiary Education in his final year at school at the Senior Prizegiving. It is awarded annually to a Year 13 student in need of financial assistance, who exhibits promise and effort and who is considered to have a high probability of succeeding in their study or training.

“The Chenery Trust has been a huge help to me in my first year of university. The impact of COVID-19 changed a lot about everyone's usual day to day life and for me, it put a lot of stress on paying for the Halls of Residence. Being unable to work through the lockdowns, I started falling behind in some of my payment but with the support of the Chenery Trust, I could get back on my feet and not have to be worried about money so much, which I am extremely grateful for,” said Kellen.


A big challenge for Kellen after finishing school and heading into the ‘real world’ was learning to manage his finances. He says, “I knew it was going to be difficult trying to pay for the Halls of Residence, but the Chenery Trust Scholarship helped a lot with this and I would have struggled a lot more to get through this without their help.” Kellen also said the scholarship allowed him to focus on his studies and really thrive academically because living in the Halls of Residence meant he could reside at the University of Auckland’s O’Rorke Hall and be surrounded by like-minded individuals doing the same papers, meaning there were more frequent study group opportunities.

One thing that made Kellen’s transition to university easier was his experience at Dilworth.

“Dilworth helped me mature and taught me how to be a well-mannered person which has been very helpful”, he said.

When asked what his advice to his younger peers at the school would be, Kellen said the most important thing is to not be afraid to ask for help.

“Ask for help if you need it. There's always a way around things and there are always people there to help”. 

In the future, Kellen hopes to work towards completing his master’s degree in an area of biology. He says, “I’m not sure which field of biology, but a master's degree is definitely something I’d like to work towards.”

January 28, 2021