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Jack Clerke

Jack Clarke, a year 12 at Queen Charlotte College who is passionate about both the arts and sciences, has been selected to attend the Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology.

Ko Tāpuae-o-Uenuku te maunga, ko Wairau te awa, ko Tōtaranui te moana, ko Te Hoiere te moana, ko Cressy te waka, ko Jack Clerke tōku ingoa.

Tēnā koutou katoa! I’m Jack Clerke, a year 12 student studying at Queen Charlotte College in Picton. I am extremely honoured to have been given the opportunity to attend FEAST (Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology) as one of five New Zealand delegates selected by the Royal Society Te Apārangi. My passion for science has come from my inquisitive approach to the world, helped along by various opportunities and a hoard of supportive teachers, friends and whānau.

This year I have chosen to study biology, chemistry, physics, English, mathematics and graphic design. Whilst my subject selection is definitely science oriented, I feel my enthusiasm for both the arts and sciences reflects my passion for questioning, learning and understanding the world around me.

Within school, I am the elected Board of Trustees Student Representative and a member of both the Student Council and Peer Supporting Team. This last role demonstrates my drive to help others with both academic and emotional difficulties and, combined with my love of the sciences, has led to my aspiration to enrol in the Health Sciences First Year program at Otago University, with the aim of becoming a doctor of medicine.

Hailing from an isolated community out in the Marlborough Sounds, it is my personal goal to work as a doctor in third world countries, with the aim of returning to New Zealand later in life to work in healthcare within the isolated rural communities of Aotearoa. Outside of school, I enjoy getting out into New Zealand’s great outdoors, in particular tramping and camping with my whānau. I am also a keen film-maker and have entered in various film competitions and festivals.

One of my life philosophies is to throw myself into as many new experiences as I can and to always achieve my personal best. This mentality has allowed me to be involved in some truly life-changing experiences, such as going to Outward Bound, participating in a student trustee.

I have also completed both the bronze and silver levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and am currently working towards achieving gold. I am proud to say that FEAST 2019 will be the “Residential Project” for my gold award, a component that only applies to gold level participants and is considered the pinnacle of what the Duke of Edinburgh award is all about. These opportunities are all incredibly valuable to me, and the experiences I have shared with people who were once strangers and now are friends will live with me for years to come.

Being chosen to attend FEAST 2019 by the Royal Society Te Apārangi is both exciting and humbling. I am extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity and I am looking forward to taking back what I learn to share with my community. 

In closing, I will leave you with a whakataukī from my experience at Outward Bound: “Ekea K​ā​ Tiritiri o te moana; ascend to the heights of your aspirations.”