Rocket Lab USA Inc, (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch and space systems company, has today awarded two scholarships worth $30,000 total to a young student aspiring to become a Māori health professional and a young woman determined to become an aerospace engineer.
Matangirau Whaanga of Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Kahungunu, who has ancestral ties to Mahia where Rocket Lab operates and launches its Electron rockets, has been awarded the Rocket Lab Scholarship to support his goal of becoming a Māori health professional through a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree at Auckland University.
The Rocket Lab Scholarship supports and encourages students from the regions that surround Rocket Lab’s launch site in Mahia to pursue science, technology, engineering, or maths (STEM) at tertiary level, and has been granted annually since 2017. The Rocket Lab Scholarship covers tertiary education costs for up to four years of study and includes mentorship from Rocket Lab where applicable.
Ivy Doak from Auckland has been awarded the Rocket Lab Women’s Scholarship to support her pursuit of a mechanical engineering degree through Auckland University to become a spacecraft designer in the aerospace industry. The Rocket Lab Women’s Scholarship has been recently established to encourage more young women to become leaders in aerospace. The Rocket Lab Women’s Scholarship also covers tertiary education costs and includes mentorship from a female Rocket Lab engineer.
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said: “Matangirau and Ivy are two fantastic students who impressed me in different ways: Matangirau, with his dedicated to Māori health and giving back to his community and Ivy, with her palpable enthusiasm for rockets and determination to work in the space industry. Our scholarships were created to provide the encouragement to make a difference in the world and help relieve the burden of expensive study, and we’re proud to be enabling that with this year’s two exceptional scholarship recipients.”
Rocket Lab also extends its congratulations to 2018 Rocket Lab Scholarship recipient, Mya Mataki-Wilson, who recently graduated from Auckland University with a degree in Engineering. Ms Mataki-Wilson is now working as a civil engineer on the Te Ahu a Turanga Alliance highway project in Palmerston North.
Across Rocket Lab’s Scholarships, $150,000 has been dedicated to eight young students studying tertiary degrees in STEM since Rocket Lab began granting scholarships in 2017. Applications for the Rocket Lab Scholarship and the Women’s Scholarship open in term three each year at rocketlabusa.com.
Comment by Matangirau Whaanga: “I’m committed to my studies and to achieving my goals and this scholarship will allow me to do that. I am really appreciative of Rocket Lab and their support; my family’s reactions have been so positive and my parents are really proud and happy for me. I’m also very keen to meet the expert scientists at Rocket Lab: a one-on-one mentorship with a scientist who has real world experience in such an exciting field as rocket science is a rare opportunity.”
Comment by Ivy Doak: “I am incredibly excited about this life-changing opportunity. It’s an honour and a privilege that I am incredibly grateful for; my grin was from ear to ear and I’ve been on cloud nine ever since! As an aspiring aerospace engineer, to be mentored by a ground-breaking female engineer from the Rocket Lab team is a game changer. Receiving guidance and advice of this caliber as I embark on my engineering degree is an invaluable privilege that I am eager to make the most of in every way possible. In turn, I intend to share my experiences to help pave the way for and benefit future students. I’m extremely privileged to benefit from the Rocket Lab Women’s Scholarship, and I’m determined to pay it forward.”