This month, we extended a warm welcome to Everiss Scholars Caleb and Hannah, on their arrival from Ōtaki College, New Zealand.
During their visit, Caleb and Hannah have embarked on many memorable adventures, including a visit to the Scottish Parliament, a memorial event in honour of RNZAF Pilot Officer Carlyle Everiss and a trip to Glenshee, where they experienced the magic of snow for the first time.
Speaking about his experience, Caleb shared: “It has been great to reunite and build on the connection with the group of fine young people that came over to Ōtaki a couple of months ago. This experience has helped further develop my skills around interaction and I have really enjoyed representing my college and community. The people skills that I have developed over here will help me greatly in my policing career, and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity that has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I have made friends for life while in the UK, and so thankful to everyone that has looked after us.”
Hannah commented: “Caleb and I have had some fantastic experiences whilst travelling, such as visiting Edinburgh Castle, Walkers shortbread factory, and the city of London. It has been such a privilege to share my Māori culture with the pupils at the College, meet new people and sample Scottish culture. I was eager to meet up with the GAIL group once again and can say I was not disappointed. It has been a pleasure to stay with my host family, the Haslers, as they have shown me true qualities of a Scotsman. I’ve also been blessed in many other ways such as being generously looked after by RGC, and meeting new people, like Emmett and Liam who I played an intense and life changing game of snap with.
“Overall, although the scenery, Scottish culture, and history has been magnificent and eye opening. I feel that the people I both met or reconnected with on this trip have made Scotland a magnet for myself to come back to and I cannot wait to see everybody once again! I strongly encourage everybody to apply for the school captain role and to take the advice that I’ve learnt in my school captain role that it’s not all about the academic achievements, and shiny badges, but instead how you hold yourself. You may not be the most academically gifted, the most athletic, or even the most social, but if you believe in yourself and set your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Once again thank you for this amazing experience!”
This year Caleb and Hannah were hosted by School Captain Lucy (S6) and her family. She added: “I had a fantastic week with Hannah and Caleb. It was brilliant to spend so much time with them both at school and on their various Scottish adventures! I hope they enjoyed their visit as much as my family and I enjoyed hosting them.”
Mr Macpherson, Head of Robert Gordon’s College, highlighted: “Our partnership with the Otaki community in New Zealand goes back many decades now, and it is a unique feature of RGC’s history. It means a huge amount to us, and the Everiss Scholarship has deepened these ties even more. Having Caleb and Hannah from Otaki College visiting us has been brilliant, especially as we first got to know them when the GAIL group visited New Zealand last October. I’m grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen, and Caleb and Hannah will always find a warm welcome at RGC. We really hope they come back to visit us in the future, as we have loved having them here.”