Wairoa teenager Clive Hook-Pomare has been awarded the 2020 Rocket Lab Scholarship, created to support and encourage students from the region where Rocket Lab launches to pursue science, technology, engineering, or maths at a tertiary level.

The Rocket Lab Scholarship was founded in 2017 to encourage the pursuit of rewarding careers in high school leavers from the Wairoa region, where Rocket Lab launches its Electron rockets from its launch site on the Māhia Peninsula. The Scholarship covers up to $20,000 of tertiary education fees for up to four years of study and includes mentorship from Rocket Lab.

Of Ngāti Kahungunu descent, Clive Hook-Pomare (left) was selected as the Rocket Lab Scholarship recipient after demonstrating a clear passion and determination to become a doctor and return to Wairoa once fully qualified to serve his community. Mr Hook-Pomare will begin studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science or Medicine and Surgery at the University of Auckland next year.

Mr Hook-Pomare says the Rocket Lab Scholarship will relieve him of some of the financial burden that comes with extended years of medical study at University.

“My mother made sure that I was happy, safe, and getting a high-quality education and in doing so, that often meant making sacrifices so I could get ahead. Every day I am thankful for her. She pushes me to work harder and value what I have been given along with what I can give back to everyone.

“I want to advocate for the Wairoa District in the medical field due to the limited healthcare and specialised support that we have. I would do anything to give back to the community and family that have raised me. I want them to know that I am forever grateful for their belief and love for me. With this Rocket Lab Scholarship support me to pursue my degree, I am able to give back to the community my love and gratitude.”

Rocket Lab Founder and CEO Peter Beck says: “Clive impressed me with his humble nature and determination to support his community in a meaningful way. Providing the support and encouragement to pursue dreams that otherwise might have been out of reach is exactly why we founded the Rocket Lab Scholarship in the first place – to directly support the community surrounding Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula.”

Clive Hook-Pomare is now the fourth recipient of the Rocket Lab Scholarship, which has been awarded annually since 2017 to high-school leavers from the Māhia and the wider Gisborne regions. Arianna Ormond and Mya Mataki-Wilson, both from Māhia, are studying computing and mathematical sciences and towards a career as a civil or chemical and bioprocess engineer respectively.

Last year’s Rocket Lab Scholarship recipient, Niamh Stratton, is pursuing a double major in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Canterbury.

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