Security Guard pursues PhD

 James Cherrington was working 70 hour weeks as a security guard before a push in the right direction from his wife helped him realise he was interested in attending university. At the age of 47, she told him to sign up and see what he could do, and he hasn’t looked back.

 James Cherrington is a PhD Student at Massey University. Photo credit : Massey University 

“The stars had to align,” says James, who over the past eight years has been named as a Massey Scholar in a Bachelor of Social Work with first class honours and Valedictorian for the College of Health in a Masters of Social Work with first class honours.

The father of two, who began his PhD journey this year, enrolled in the Te Rau Puawai programme during his undergraduate study for the scholarships and support available.

Te Rau Puawai is a programme providing bursaries and support to Massey students working towards a qualification in Māori mental health.

“The programme provides you with a Māori academic whānau who are always there to tautoko you.”

Te Rau Puawai helped connect James to his current role where he has worked for the last four and a half years as a Whānau Ora Navigator.

“I almost quit twice in my first year of the Bachelor of Social Work. It was the support of Te Rau Puawai mentors, staff and bursars that kept me going and gave me the belief that I could do this.”

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Story courtesy of Massey University , New Zealand.

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