- Crombie Scholarship 2021 recipients: Lexie Crawford (Napier Girls High School) and Noah Smith (Napier Boys High School). Photo courtesy of Amy Bowkett.
Juggling senior school commitments whilst holding down several part-time jobs has paid off for two ambitious Napier students, awarded the coveted Diana and Colin Crombie Scholarship for tertiary studies.
Year 13 Napier Girls High School student Lexie Crawford and Napier Boys High School’s Noah Smith have been selected from a competitive group of 45 applicants, to receive $9,000 each over three years for tertiary education.
Gifted through Hawke’s Bay Foundation, founders of the Fund, Napier philanthropists Colin and Diana Crombie, have been awarding the scholarships aimed at “sons and daughters of hard-working families”, for fifteen years.
Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s Alison Harper sat on the interviewing panel and says the high calibre of 2021 applications made the selection process extremely difficult.
“The quality of applicants this year was incredibly competitive and it was really genuinely difficult to choose. Many of those interviewed already had won impressive scholarships with an extremely high level of achievement seen from both Napier Girls and Napier Boys High Schools.
“Lexie and Noah are from families who have worked hard to support their children, and it’s clear both students are thriving as a result – looking towards promising futures in study in their chosen fields. Both on paper and in interviews, Lexie and Noah were genuine, articulate, and diligent.”
Working every spare hour after school, at weekends and in the holidays at a Taradale retirement village for the past two and a half years along with babysitting has seen Lexie Crawford earn enough money to partially support herself at Victoria University where she plans to study a Bachelor of Design with honours.
“I am beyond grateful to be one of two successful recipients awarded the Diana and Colin Crombie scholarship. This scholarship has given me an added excitement and encouragement for my studies next year at university where I plan to take the skills I gain into a career in design.
“Not only will the added support allow me to study what I am passionate about, but this scholarship will significantly reduce the financial pressure on myself and my family and now means I won’t have to incur significant debt during my time studying.”
For Napier Boys High School Deputy Head Noah Smith, the scholarship will support him to study Law, Philosophy and Politics at Otago University. The keen sportsman and artist was one of eight students awarded the 2021 Napier Lions Club Young Achievers Award.
“Over the past three years I have fully committed my time and effort into various areas of community involvement. I have coached Nelson Park Primary’s top year 6 team, along with Nelson Park I have also coached three Napier Boys’ basketball teams. This year I have also been part of a reading mentorship programme that involves me giving up my study periods to help out kids who may be struggling with reading or school in general.”
To help ease the burden of looming accommodation costs living away from home, Noah plans to work fulltime over summer at Thai Chef, and has already saved a significant amount to contribute towards that.
“This scholarship is extremely rewarding for my family and I. I feel very fortunate and thankful to be receiving something which will continue to help me through my further studies.”
As Chair of Hawke’s Bay Foundation, Giles Pearson is humbled the organisation is able to continue management of the Colin and Diana Crombie Fund.
“Distributing ongoing annual scholarships according to Diana and Colin’s wishes is an honour that we at the Foundation take very seriously. It is a great example of a lasting legacy that will continue in perpetuity, forever, under prudent management with a proven charitable giving model.”