Trustees Scholarship opens up a Great Future for Lachlan Paulsen

“Now that I have been awarded the scholarship, the door has opened to opportunities that I could only dream of and I am excited to find out how far I can make this momentum take me.” —Lachlan Paulsen BE Hons Engineering and Computer Science and Trustee Scholarship 2020 recipient.

Lachlan Paulsen at his computer, in a workshop

Enrolled in a BE Hons in Engineering majoring in Electronics and Computer Science, Lachlan Paulsen is passionate about robotics, programming and engineering. Never has a young man been more suited to his course of study. Lachlan’s passion for all things electronics was ignited at Paraparaumu College and he’s thrilled to now be able to study the subject of his dreams in a way that works for him and his family, thanks to a Great Futures scholarship from the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation Trustees.

Lachlan’s road hasn’t been straightforward, but he was always determined to pursue his dreams and go to university. His family life has been happy but not always easy. Lachlan’s dad suffers from multiple sclerosis and for the past five years he’s been wheelchair bound and unable to work. As primary carer for her husband, Lachlan’s mum can only work part-time so Lachlan knew going to university wouldn’t be easy. But he was prepared to take the chance to gain an education and create a better life for his family as well as himself.

One of the most important things for Lachlan enrolling in university was to continue living at home and be on hand to help his parents. Thanks to this scholarship he’s in a much better position to do just that. He won’t have to find a job and he can afford to commute between home and university.

Encouraged to apply for a scholarship by friends and family and guided by careers adviser Barbara Browne at Paraparaumu College, Lachlan thought his chances were slim, so he was delighted to be informed that he’d been awarded the prestigious First in Family Trustees Scholarship.

“I was so excited when I found out I had got the scholarship ; I was unable to come to terms with the opportunity that had been made available to me through this award. I just feel so lucky. And now that I have been awarded it, it drives to me to give 100% to my studies.”

Lachlan credits his college Robotics Club for setting him on this path and is grateful for the support and mentorship of Jack Penman from that club for getting him to the point he is at today. Thanks to Jack, he firmly believes that he can do whatever he puts his mind to.

Lachlan also likes to give back, sharing his passion with primary school children through the Kapiti Coast digital ambassadors drive—an initiative to inspire and encourage primary school students to consider a career in engineering—and imagining a future where he works on projects that will help other people.

He is grateful to everyone who has made this scholarship possible.

“To everyone who donates to this programme already, thank you so much. Without you, this scholarship that will change my life wouldn’t have been possible. Who knows what the people that you support now could become in the future?”

Thanks to the generous support of Foundation Trustees, Lachlan Paulsen certainly has a great future ahead of him.

You can help more students like Lachlan to achieve great futures through scholarships by donating to the Great Futures fund to support scholarships for students who are hindered by financial hardship.