By Mitchell Clarke
A student from Pakenham Consolidated School has been awarded a scholarship to Pakenham Secondary College through an initiative created by Nobelius Land Surveyors.
Year 6 student Zoran was one of approximately 50 students to apply for the package which will help aid the financial burden that comes with starting high school, covering the cost of a laptop, full book list, uniform, school fees and a deposit for year seven camp.
Pakenham business Nobelius Land Surveyors launched their inaugural scholarship with the hopes of continuing to develop the relationship between the two schools, according to managing director Ben Nobelius.
“I was a product of Pakenham, born and bred here and my opportunity was my dad giving me the go in our family company,” Mr Nobelius said.
“But I recognise that not everyone gets that and we’d like to play even a small part in someone’s life and give them an opportunity.
“We really wanted to make a good contribution to one of the students’ lives.”
After receiving a number of applications, the company shortlisted six students and interviewed three students, eventually selecting Zoran for the top prize.
Runners-up Charlee Masin and Joshua Atwood both received a $100 voucher for the uniform shop.
“While the other two students were very impressive, to me it felt like they were heading in the right direction as it is,” Mr Nobelius said.
“Zoran was very smart, but he probably lacked a little bit of direction so we just wanted to give him the confidence that he can go out and make his own things for himself.
“We could see this would have a greater impact on his life than the other two.”
Pakenham Consolidated School principal Katrina Stewart described Zoran as a popular student among his peers.
“The fact that somebody has believed in him is great, I’m sure it’ll give him a real boost,” she said.
“And for his family, reducing that financial stress is obviously great.”
And it’s clear his classmates absolutely love him, providing a deafening cheer when he was announced the winner.
“It makes it all worth it, it’s not just a token gesture we’re giving, it’s really humbling to see we can make a difference and that it’s appreciated by 600 kids within the room,” Mr Nobelius said.
“We’re hoping he takes the opportunity to make contact with us so we can follow up next year to see if there is anything more we can do or how we could better the process going forward next year.
“We’re very proud as a company to be able to give back to the community.”