This determined young man excelled academically at school. He was also a talented sportsman with a particular knack for rugby, as well as finding time to be involved in cultural events such as the Polynesian Festival, representing his Samoan culture.
Sources of support
Back then, Franz’s goals were to play rugby at a high level, and gain a commerce degree, which he has accomplished with help from his First Foundation scholarship.
“The whole process was a big positive for me. Not only the experience but the confidence boost, has helped me get to where I wanted.”
Back in Aotearoa, Franz joined Xero and is now a multimedia specialist for the company.
“I do a bit of video editing, creating educational video content, and photography and videography.
“I’ve been in the role for about a year and a half now, but I’ve been at Xero for close to five years.”
Franz says after his initial involvement with First Foundation 14 years ago, his life has changed dramatically.
“Financially, my scholarship was life-changing. It was also an awesome way to get work experience under my belt at an early stage with a high profile company which looked good on my CV.”
“I would have a better understanding about what he was there for and how he could have helped me in my professional career. Other than that, I am happy with where I am now and would not want to change much else,” he adds.
After reflecting on his journey, Franz decided to return to First Foundation as a mentor himself.
“One hundred percent, experience and knowledge through one’s journey should always be shared – someone will benefit from it.”
He says his objective as a mentor is to see Vila succeed and be happy.
Along with mentoring, Franz hopes he can utilise his love of storytelling, photography and videography as a medium to “creatively share positive vibes” as another way to give back to the society after he was given a helping hand up.