University study a life-changer

12 April 2012

Jacob Kerewaro

Changed man: Studying at Waikato University changed the life of Jacob Kerewaro, who will graduate next Friday with a Bachelor of Social Sciences.

A radio advertisement to study psychology at the University of Waikato has changed the life of Tauranga man Jacob Kerewaro.

From supermarket to psychology study

Jacob was working at Countdown in Greerton when he heard the ad and decided to take up the university offer.  He was 29, ready to put his past behind him and get a degree.  He’ll graduate in Tauranga next week with a Bachelor of Social Sciences.

Jacob’s the first to admit that he’s had a chequered past and had some health issues.  He’s recovered with the aid of counselling and therapy, and today is studying for his Masters in Applied Psychology in Applied Behaviour Analysis and working part-time for SILC – Supported Individualised Lifestyle Choices, an organisation that helps disabled people and their families.

Part-time learning allowed for more reflection

Mostly he has studied part-time with the majority of his classes taught in Tauranga.  “Part-time learning suits me.  I find having less pressure allows me to think more, reflect on what we’re learning in class and prepare better.  I came to Waikato not really knowing what psychology was, not sure what I was getting myself into,” he says.

Support services made learning easier

“My father is Tainui and from the Waikato and when I arrived at Waikato University it felt like I was in the right place.  There are excellent support services on campus, including Māori mentoring, the staff are approachable, and the technology available today makes learning a lot easier.”

When he completes his masters, Jacob hopes to work with young people, possibly Māori youth who are intellectually or physically disabled.

Tauranga graduation next week

Jacob is one of 115 students who’ll graduate at Tauranga’s Holy Trinity Event Centre on Friday 20 April.

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