SGHS pupil gains Cambridge spot

Southland Girls' High School pupil and Cambridge University scholar Harri Pickett.

CAMBRIDGE University is so close but so far for Southland Girls’ High School (SGHS)
pupil Harri Pickett.

The young 15-year-old, Year 12 pupil has received a partial scholarship to attend the
prestigious university’s Immerse Education Summer Programme to study medicine.

However, raising $10,000 in just a few weeks is the only barrier standing in her way.

Her long-term goal is to be accepted as a full-time student at the university. She was hoping the scholarship would be a platform to open doors for the future.

Acceptance to the university was an achievement in itself.

Harri said she had held the dream of attending the England campus for many years and focused completing a world-class education there.

“I cannot remember when I didn’t want to study there.’’

The scholarship was an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills for the future.

SGHS principal Yvonne Browning said Harri’s location had not prevented her from being
successful nor believed a New Zealand-based education was a barrier for those who wanted to attend universities in other nations.

‘‘She is living proof you don’t have to be in a certain part of the world to be successful…
Invercargill students, if they’re motivated and intelligent, they too can reach those dizzy heights and gain access to a Cambridge University programme.’’

Harri’s academic achievement level was one year ahead of most pupils her age and she achieved the top SGHS Year 11 pupil award in 2021.

Mrs Browning had filed an application for some limited funding on Harri’s behalf, but
she would need more to provide all that was needed to achieve the dream she has had since she was 10 years old.

‘‘I would encourage the businesses and people to get behind Harri. They will feel
proud they actually contributed to a girl that is on her path to greater things.’’

Mrs Browning was convinced Harri would achieve her dream.

‘‘When she leaves us [SGHS] she’s going to Cambridge — there’s no two ways about that.

‘‘She’s just fascinated by it all (bio-science).’’

Miss Pickett said she had always maintained her interest in biology and medicine studies. The scholarship would build on her goals for the future.

Simply having the scholarship listed on her resume brought kudos.

Finding the funds to attend had been proving to be a bigger challenge than she first imagined with many of the usual grant providers declining fund allocations to individual academics.

She did have part-time work but it was likely to not meet the $10,000 fees she would need to find to cover her flights and other costs.

Her mother had been really supportive of her, but her father did not know as she wanted to surprise him when she knew she was definitely going.

Full-time work was not an option for her as she was still attending school as well as doing volunteer work towards her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.