Staples Education Recipients Announced for 2024

Date: 14 Nov 2023

Staples Education Foundation Scholarships: Transforming young lives through education

Each year, high-achieving Dilworth Year 13 school leavers intending to study at Auckland University can apply for a scholarship from The Staples Education Foundation (SEF). The scholarship provides each student with the opportunity to join a tailor-made programme that will support them in transitioning from school to university successfully and then into the workforce. 

The scholarship provides wrap-around support by teaming recipients up with a mentor for three years and a buddy for their first year of study. Financial support is also provided, along with industry work experience through some of New Zealand’s top companies.

The key goals of the SEF Programme are to help students attain a tertiary qualification, secure full-time employment in a career of choice, and ultimately, in turn, give back to society.

All in all, it's an incredible package.

In 2024, the programme will be SEF’s ninth year with 84 Dilworth students supported over that time. Many students have gone on to achieve remarkable things and just this year 2023 University graduate Ngana Finau, who majored in Accounting and Finance at the University of Auckland now has his dream role at KPMG, one of the ‘big four’ accounting firms and Jonny Haydn, less than a year out from completing a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Accounting at Auckland University, is a successful young executive at one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent creative agencies, Bastion Shine.  Both follow work placement opportunities through the scholarship.

The Staples Education Foundation has recently announced the recipients of the Dilworth Scholarship for 2024.  General Manager Karen Bennett commented, “We are delighted with next year’s line-up of scholarship winners. They are all so deserving and came through the rigorous submission and interviewing process with flying colours”.  Haydn Staples is the founder and driving force behind this transformative programme. Haydn has interviewed nearly every one of the students who have so far successfully gone through the programme.

A Chartered Accountant, and highly successful entrepreneur, Haydn founded the Staples Education Foundation Scholarship through his drive to make a meaningful contribution to society “I decided youth education was the most enduring human benefit of anything I could leave behind”.  He has done this by leveraging his considerable strength and networks in business and has brought many business partners on to do the same.

In 2015, he started to research the building blocks behind the SEF scholarship and started to understand a key area for young people - the difficulty of transition from school to university. “All my research in New Zealand, Australian, and American journals showed the correlation between better life prospects and attaining a tertiary education.” He wanted to create a programme that would build a bridge.

After two years of research and development looking at top scholarships around the world, the SEF scholarship programme was launched. It is built around three areas of support: the provision of a buddy system, mentoring, and the ongoing operational and pastoral care support provided by the staff. But Haydn is also focused on how students themselves can open the doors for other students and give back.

Created specifically for Dilworth students in the early days, back in 2015, Dilworth had an estimated 60/70% pass rate for students going on to tertiary institutions, so Staples Education Foundation worked with the school to see how the programme could help to increase this. The pass rate is now 98% for Staples Education Foundation students studying at Auckland tertiary institutions, something SEF and Dilworth are incredibly proud of. Thinking back to the start, the main thing Haydn said was for students to know “they are not on their own when they leave the green gates. SEF is a friend and companion to help them”.

He is also a strong believer in the therapeutic value of work and notes that self-esteem is a key outcome of meaningful work and is “one of the fundamental contributors to success in life” and, in turn, is a big contributor to good mental health.

General Manager Karen Bennett highlighted that 21 Dilworth Old boys have supported SEF as mentors and went on to say just how inspiring it is to have their amazing support. If anyone is interested in becoming a mentor to support the 2024 new cohort, please get in touch with Karen at the SEF. 

This compelling programme is more than just a scholarship; it’s a bridge and a legacy that continues to change lives and shape a bigger, brighter future for each student. 

Staples Education Recipients Announced for 2024Huge congratulations to the Dilworth
students who have received an SEF Scholarship. 

Aporo Haurua
Charlie Beecham
Gene King
Harry Liu
Noah Pickering
Oliver Sheehy

Gap Year students

Oliver Dunwoodie
Sione Tu-ungafasi