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Our Land and Water is proud to award a scholarship to Meschka Seifritz through our partnership with the Pūhoro STEMM Academy scholarship, to support the completion of her Master’s degree.
Meschka was raised in Feilding, and is now undertaking a Masters of Environment and Society at Waikato University. Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Māori studies in 2021, Meschka has worked in iwi and hapū-led conservation, and now wants to extend herself even further within the sector through post-graduate study.
“After spending a year in my dream job, I quickly realised how little I know, and how much I still have to learn, hence the desire to pursue my Masters!” says Meschka. “I want to make a genuine change within our nation, and hopefully that has ripple effects internationally. I think diversifying my knowledge in multiple fields is the best option for my future goals.”
Meschka was part of the founding student cohort of rangatahi who started in Pūhoro in 2016.
She began the programme as a Year 11 student at Feilding High School. She was also able to be part of the summer internship programme, which Our Land and Water supports, which opened up further opportunities into science and research and provided valuable experience in the sector.
Meschka has also served new rangatahi coming through the Pūhoro programme by supporting them to uplift their academic achievement in science subjects to ensure they too can keep their options open to further their education in the sciences and entering careers in STEM.
“Young wahine Māori scientists such as Meschka are a beacon of light for others to follow,” says Kemp Reweti, acting manahautū of the Pūhoro STEMM Academy.
“As we grapple with the complex challenges being faced in our environment more Māori scientists like Meschka, who are culturally anchored and have deepened their knowledge of science systems, will be crucial to meeting those challenges head-on. I am delighted that Meschka has had this opportunity afforded to her by the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, scholarships like these are critical to the development of Māori in STEM fields”.
The Our Land and Water-funded scholarship is for one year, and consists of $20,000 to cover living costs and fees.
Congratulations Meschka on your achievements thus far. We look forward to seeing you lead the pathway for future rangatahi to pursue in STEM.