It starts as a small spark inside you.
Have the courage to start and apply for an AMP Scholarship to help you get up to $10,000 towards your dream. This is what past recipients Jasmine, Frances and Joshua did and now they’re using their $10,000 scholarship to continue to turn their dreams into reality.
Applications are open from 1 July – 13 August.
For everything you need to know about AMP Scholarships and for news, tips and help from others pursuing their dreams join our Facebook Group.
Frances is a fighter, in more ways than one
A 2015 AMP Scholarship recipient, Taekwondo exponent Frances Lloyd is the current ITF Junior World Champion. She’s planning to defend her world title in Dublin, Ireland later this year. Frances has had a couple of setbacks with injury recently, but is now fighting fit.
In October 2016, Frances attended the Budapest Taekwondo World Champs and returned home a victor. She took the Best Overall Junior Female award, as well as gold in the Junior Individual Female Special Techniques category and silver in the Female Sparring 65kgs+ category.
Frances and her family were over the moon with her results, but then a water skiing accident resulted in a shoulder injury. Not long after that, another accident left her with blood bruising on the bone of her foot. But Frances, who is known for her pragmatic approach, took it all in her stride.
“These injuries were just setbacks that I managed to get through and now I’m in peak condition to start training and work towards my next goal – Dublin.”
With an increased workload in Year 12 at high school, there are more challenges ahead as Frances prepares for the World Champs in Ireland in October this year. The support of her local community, particularly the primary school she attended as a child, has been inspiring and encouraging for her.
“My local primary school has been writing stories and goals around the things they have done, and basing it off my AMP documentary. It feels good to know I’m inspiring kids to have dreams and achieve them.”
With the World Champs firmly in her sights, Frances is on track to successfully defend her title and inspire the next generation of young people.
Guts and determination help Josh’s dreams to fly
An AMP Scholarship winner in 2015, Josh Guillemot-Rodgerson has just graduated from Juilliard in New York and landed a job with the world-famous Houston Ballet.
The last year has been non-stop for Josh. After performing in a Blenheim production of Beauty and the Beast, he zipped back to New York to complete an intensive programme bridging contemporary and commercial dance. Then he spent two weeks in Holland, completing the Netherlands Dance Theatre’s summer programme, before starting his final year at Juilliard. Part of his final year course at Juilliard was preparation for professional dance company auditions.
“In January I had two weeks travelling around auditioning for different companies. I must’ve had 20 to 25 auditions altogether in the end, which was tiring. A couple of places would just require you to take a ballet class for an hour and a half, which is really straightforward. But then a lot of the auditions ended up being six to seven-hour days of non-stop dancing. It’s hard work because you’re giving it your all, and wanting to make sure you’ve done everything you could have so you don’t have any regrets.”
As it turns out, there were no regrets. Josh did very well indeed and was offered a variety of employment options. One stood out for him – an offer to join the renowned Houston Ballet, a company of nearly 60 dancers that’s based at the largest professional dance facility in America.
“I was so inspired when I was there, as the Houston ballet dancers were strong and consistent as individuals, and yet they work brilliantly together as one unit. I am very excited to be putting my ballet shoes back on to join them.”
Josh has now graduated from Juilliard with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. He flew home in May, to spend time with his family before moving to Houston in July. The next phase of Josh’s exciting dance career - training and performing with Houston Ballet – is poised for launch.
One goal leads to another for Jasmine
Jasmine Jenke used the money from her AMP Scholarship to pursue an inspiring project called ‘Humans of South Auckland’. Designed to give South Aucklanders hope, passion and reasons to be happy, it has developed into a social media movement and a book.
After a lot of hard work and dedication, the ‘Humans of South Auckland’ book was launched in November 2016. With an eye on the long-term benefits of inspirational stories and pictures, the project is intended to enhance sustained wellbeing for Auckland communities that struggle with poverty, helplessness and lack of pride.
“This time last year we published 2000 hard copies of the book, and out of those 2000 copies, we gave 1500 back into the community – to high schools, NGOs, mental health organisations, the prison and GP clinics. We basically gave it out to places that needed a bit of hope and a bit of pride.”
Jasmine’s plans for the future then took a new turn.
“My boss, Professor Jonathon Gray of Ko Awatea, asked me ‘Well, since you’ve published your book, what’s the next step from Humans of South Auckland?’ As a result, he’s got me working on ‘Humans of Aotearoa’, a nationwide project. So it’s all happening!”
Humans of Aotearoa will initially be piloted in Kaitaia, Nelson and Christchurch. It will be similar, but different to the Humans of South Auckland concept. At the moment Jasmine is based in Nelson, but she also spends time in Auckland, Christchurch and Kaitaia.
Jasmine feels extremely privileged to be given the opportunity to work on this project for Ko Awatea, a hub for social innovation and improvement in healthcare. We’ll keep you posted on Jasmine’s new Humans of Aotearoa project as it materialises on Facebook and other forms of social media.
Following your passion can be tough
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