PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2022
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Foundation Scholarships inspire
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s business is about improving care and outcomes through inspired, world-leading healthcare solutions.
Giving a hand up to scholars who can make a difference is perfectly in line with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Foundation’s goal to support healthier communities.
A hand up
Launched in 2021, the Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Foundation focuses on three key areas — health, education, and the environment — supporting people and organisations that help those who are underserved and underrepresented.
First Foundation scholarships mean the Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Foundation can help send bright young people to university and deliver on its commitment to help those under-represented in STEM careers – Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Neerali Parbhu, Inaugural Foundation Lead, says, “First Foundation’s approach of a ‘hand up, not a hand out’ resonates with the Foundation’s trustees.
“The programme is really helping address the inequity in the STEM pipeline that exists and has existed for a very long time. Too many students are without the financial means, support systems and structures or exposure to STEM career pathways to see and help them reach their true potential.”
“This year, we have provided two scholarships to two brilliant students: Helen Thai (biomedical science) and Tevita Bloomfield (medicine).
Helen has help getting set for study
Helen Thai, from Aorere College, heard about First Foundation scholarships when she saw one awarded to an older student. For her, it signalled a way she could realise her dreams of attending university.
She says, “I’m proud of the growth I’ve gained already and that I will get from the scholarships.”
Connecting with her mentor, Stephanie, has made Helen’s journey to tertiary study easier.
“My perspective of study has changed. It doesn’t seem so overwhelming now that I have an internship and study support.”
“Looking around, Fisher & Paykel has so many departments and things you can do. I’m keen to work in women’s healthcare and follow a clinical path in medicine.”
“Stephanie is a bioengineer, so she’s been able to help me choose courses, advising me on how to study at university and tackle the first year.”
Tevita sees the value of self-development
Tevita Bloomfield from De La Salle College has also reaped immediate benefits from First Foundation’s support.
“I joined other scholars for professional and personal development workshops – I never thought about taking time to know myself, but it has been helpful.
“The first workshop was online and about learning new skills – studying, making timetables etc. Then, in person, we continued this and connected with others and their mentors. I’m so grateful for my mentor, Trevor Banks!”
First Foundation’s programme gives scholars vital support with fees, mentoring and work experience. And for the work experience component, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has designed an inspired internship specifically tailored to their scholars.
“At Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, we strive to provide an environment where our interns learn about how we improve care and outcomes for patients and provide opportunities for them to learn and grow to reach their full potential.”
Tevita and Helen with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Senior Product Development Manager, Gavin Millar.
Nicola Cooper, Learning and Capability Manager at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, says, “At F&P, we strive to provide an environment where our interns learn about how we improve care and outcomes for patients and provide opportunities for them to learn and grow to reach their full potential.
“We put our company values at the heart of our internships as it’s these values that drive our success, challenge us, guide us and inspire us to be our best. During their work experience, scholars will be treated and respected as contributing employees.”
Whānau find a friendly welcome
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has also met and welcomed Tevita and Helen’s families. This has meant a lot to both scholars.
Tevita’s parents immigrated from Tonga, and he is grateful to lift the financial burden of a big student loan from their shoulders.
Helen is equally glad for the recognition of everything her family has done for her. “My family are so happy and very supportive. They’ve always been right behind me.”
Nicola says, “It’s all about how we can help ensure that we are building the capabilities for the future.“