Curt Perano AMP Scholarship recipient dog sledding

Recipient advice

Turn your ideas into action


Find out how some of our past recipients have taken the next step to do their thing and started turning their ideas into action.


For Curt Perano it took years of preparation. With the help of his scholarship, he became the first New Zealander to compete in ‘The Last Great Race’, a 1000-mile dogsled race across Alaska. It meant punishing conditions and unforgiving weather.

“It’s critical because when you’re dealing with 1000 miles there’s not one secret that makes you do well, it’s doing all the small things well that add up to make the whole bigger thing come together.”

Curt also finds breaking down the bigger goal into manageable tasks keep it from becoming overwhelming.

Dive in and do it

“Sometimes you just need to dive in and do it.” That’s the advice from Claire Davies, winner of a 2013 AMP Regional Scholarship. She’s developing a portable audio navigation system that allows the blind to hear obstacles in their environment. Her first prototype was something she quite literally began to build at home.

“I bought a bat detector, and supplies from JayCar, and just started experimenting.” For Claire, this ‘hands on’ approach was the key to putting her plan into motion. But of course it all depending on what your ‘thing’ is.

Focus and celebrate success

“Think of it as trying to get a black belt in Karate.” Gabriel explains, “If you only look at the black belt that takes years to reach, you're going to feel like you’re not achieving anything and want to give up. But if you focus on working your way up the belts, and celebrating every time you achieve a new one, you’ll reach that black belt in no time!”

And once you know what your particular ‘black belt’ looks like, it’s easier to define a successful step, and plan how to move your project forward. It’s something that National AMP Scholarship winner Sam Judd describes as hugely important.

Call in the experts

As Co-Founder and CEO of Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust, Sam is helping to reduce waste and preserve the world’s sustainable resources. So for him, knowing how to measure success was a complex gauge of behaviour change, and overall waste reduction. And that meant calling in experts.

The ladies and gents in the know can help steer you in the right direction. Whether that’s professionals in an expert field, like pyschologists or economists, or as Kathryn Wilson, renowned footwear designer recommends, folk who’ve been there before. People can make all the difference.

Everyone needs a cheerleader

In fact, Scottie Reeve believes that simply having a good team of friends who believe in you can help your ‘thing’ come to life. The Tawa-born youth worker won an AMP National Scholarship in 2013 and used the money to help fund a social enterprise café 'stories coffee' helping young Wellingtonians into full-time employment. He knows what right backing means.

“Everyone needs a cheerleader. Everyone needs someone who really believes in them unconditionally and wants the best for them. Young people become who they hang out with, and I guess it’s the same sort of thing. It’s about finding some people who really believe in you, who really want you to succeed.”

It never hurts to have support

That’s advice Paul Kennerley is quick to share. And it’s made all the difference to his athletic career. He’s an accomplished body builder, a financial adviser and the proud recipient of the 2014 AMP People Scholarship.

For Paul, it’s about having someone you’re accountable to, it helps you to work hard and stay focused. After all, success in body building, like any sport, is the product of hard work and discipline. Creating a team around you can make all the difference.

Need some more inspiration?

Take a look at some of our recipient stories.

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