Creating change in the community

13 Aug, 2021
Creating change in the community
Software Engineering student Kelly Luo

The Freemasons Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for AUT students to get financial support for their study. Available to AUT students who are active in their involvement in the community, the deadline for applications is 1 October.

Offered annually, there are two types of scholarships:

  • The University Scholarships (award value of $6,000), are available for students entering their final year of a full-time course of study for a Bachelor degree or Bachelor degree with Honours.
  • The Postgraduate Scholarships (award value of $10,000), are available for students studying full-time in a postgraduate qualification including a Postgraduate Diploma, Masters degree or Doctoral degree.

2021 Freemasons University Scholarship recipient – Kelly Luo

Final year Software Engineering student Kelly Luo is passionate about creating change in her community. As the president of student club AUT STEM Women, Kelly works to foster a sense of whānau and community for women who are studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics at AUT. “It’s a tough field for women to get connected to the industry. We offer a lot of events, such as our upcoming CV and cover letter workshop, a hackathon with Electric Kiwi as well as casual social events,” says Kelly.

When she isn’t busy with the STEM club or studying, Kelly also works as a peer mentor at AUT, and tutors maths a day a week at NumberWorks'nWords. “I really love peer mentoring and tutoring because I love to see students improve and understand something they didn’t before. I love witnessing the lightbulb moment.”

Kelly is especially grateful to have received the Freemasons University Scholarship as she says it’s enabled her to do more of what she loves. “Financially, it’s helped a lot. I’m able to focus more on my study as well as my club events and activities.”

Currently Kelly is going through the process of finding graduate roles to progress her software engineering degree. She hopes this will lead to a future role in UI (User Interface), UX (User Experience), front end development or project management. “Almost everything revolves around technology now, and this was particularly evident during COVID. My passion really lies in trying to work within that industry to create change for the community that I live in. I really want to give back.”

Selection criteria

Applicants for the scholarships must:

  • Have a good academic record
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or hold a Permanent New Zealand Residency
  • Demonstrate good citizenship
  • Show leadership potential
  • Have proven community commitment

Applicants do not need:

  • A family association with the Freemasonry is not a criterion for the award of a scholarship.

For further information and to apply, visit AUT’s Scholarships page and enter the keyword “Freemasons” in the search box.