PM Pacific Youth Awards open many doors of opportunity

posted: 7:30 pm - 23rd June 2019
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(Picture caption: Roneima Koro-Teumohenga speaks at the 125th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage celebration.) 

Many doors have opened for 21-year-old Roneima Koro-Teumohenga since she was presented with a Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award in 2016.

Of Tongan, Tokelauan and Samoan descent and born and raised in Palmerston North, Roneima received the Government Communications Security Bureau  (GCSB) Sub-Category STEM Award three years ago, which has provided her with financial support, along with a myriad of opportunities.

Roneima is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) at Otago University in Dunedin.

She dreams of becoming a Specialist in the future.

The award has opened doors to various opportunities for me to give back to our Pacific community, Roneima says.

“It has allowed me to represent the voice of New Zealand-born Pacific youth from Manawatu; and it has provided a platform for me to effect change by contributing to NZQA STEM Taupulega’s strategy to ‘normalise’ STEM subjects and career paths for Pacific students nationwide.”

In 2018, Roneima was selected to represent the voice of Pacific youth at the 125th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage celebration where she spoke about normalising STEM subjects and career paths for Pacific youth.

She also helped facilitate at the Young Free Pasifika conference in Palmerston North this year; and was a judge and volunteer at the Manawatu Pasifika Fusion 2018-2019.

Roneima continues to work at grass roots level as a tutor and mentor for homework groups in Dunedin, and when she returns home to Palmerston North in the semester break and summer holidays, she tutors and mentors for the Amanaki STEM Academy.

Living a life of service and giving back to the Pacific community is important for the young woman, who says she intends to continue to serve the Pacific community in Manawatu by working alongside my parents, board members, tutors and families of Amanaki STEM Academy while also hopefully completing her studies with Honours.

Roneima is an advocate for getting talented, young Pacific people to apply for the PMPYA, as she has had such a positive experience from receiving an award.

“Young people should apply because it is a truly life-changing experience that opened many doors I never dreamt of before.

“It also allowed me to build connections with people willing to work alongside you to reach a common goal.”

Applications for the 2019 PMPYA are open now, and close on June 30.

Any young person between the age of 17 and 24 years, who is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Pacific descent, can apply for the 2019 PMPYA.  

There are nine categories and 11 awards. Apply now.