In 2017, the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) partnered with First Foundation, a educational trust founded to assist academically talented New Zealand students worthy of support, to help prepare them to positively influence and benefit their communities.

NZRB provided two First Foundation scholarships to local Hutt area students Sanjeeta Singh and Kyle Clapperton-Hayes, who were recently awarded their scholarships at a ceremony held at Victoria University, attended by NZRB CEO John Allen. NZRB is just one organisation that First Foundation works with, to award scholarships to some our most talented but financially disadvantaged students, by providing a unique, high-support, four year scholarship programme. Since 1998, First Foundation has changed the lives of over 520 young people and their families.

"As a business based in the Hutt Valley, it's an honour for us to support students from our local schools, in both Wainuiomata and Naenae, and help create those pathways and opportunities for our young people, from school, right through to university,” said John.

Sanjeeta talking with NZRB CEO John Allen
Sanjeeta talking with NZRB CEO John Allen

Committing to a four year scholarship program for two local students, NZRB is providing them with a minimum of five weeks paid work experience annually. At a total cost of $44,000, it’s no small amount, but NZRB are proud to be supporting youth in our local communities. The scholarships are no easy path for the students, providing challenges along the way and requiring a strong work ethic, but with mentors from all walks of life assisting the students, there’s a huge amount of potential to be realised in every scholar and big long term rewards.

Sanjeeta and Kyle, from Naenae College and Wainuiomata High School respectively, both recently started their scholarship over the most recent summer holidays. The now Year-13 students both joined NZRB for a period of paid work experience with our business - Sanjeeta in Technology with our Testing Team, and Kyle in Finance.

"Thank you so much to NZRB for their support through First Foundation,” said Sanjeeta. “Working with the Testing Team over the summer holidays was a great experience and I'm looking forward to learning more over the next few years."

Kyle talking to NZRB CEO John Allen

NZRB CEO John Allen has been a driving force in bringing NZRB onboard with First Foundation, recognising the huge importance of local business supporting the communities in which they reside.

“It’s not just about helping from afar - getting right alongside these students and showing them the opportunities that are out there, and having those conversations that will hopefully inspire them is something that the First Foundation Scholarships will help achieve, as they have been doing for 20 years now.”

First Foundation was launched in 1998, aiming to assist students who were to be the first ever university attendees from their family, from Year-13, through to their third year of University. Since then, the scholarship criteria has been widened, with the program helping students from low decile schools achieve their dreams of a successful university education.