Wellington Airport recognises students who have gone above and beyond

18 Dec 2020

2020 Wellington Airport Wild at Heart Community Spirit Award recipients

Last week, Wellington Airport held a celebratory lunch for students who have gone the extra mile to provide service to their school and community.

Each year the airport presents the Wild at Heart Spirit Awards to a Year 13 student from each of the five local colleges (Rongotai College, St Catherine’s College, St Patrick’s College, Scots College and Wellington East Girls’ College).

The awards recognise students who stand out for:

  • Contributing to their college
  • Developing good relationships
  • Treating others with respect and concern
  • Commitment to service to their school and/or community projects
  • Being good ambassadors for their college and the eastern suburbs.

Over the past 14 years, 70 students have been presented with an award.

This year, Paul Eagle presented certificates and vouchers to:

  • Jamal Fiso from Rongotai College
  • Grace Ellis from St Catherine’s College
  • Jacob Madigan from St Patrick’s College
  • Leon Bowie from Scots College
  • Aneesha Mohamed Jaseel from Wellington East Girls’ College

Wellington Airport’s Chief Executive, Steve Sanderson said “It was an absolute pleasure to meet with all the students who won awards this year and recognise their tremendous efforts during what’s been a very difficult period for everyone.

Usually, we would present these awards as part of our annual Community Awards event, however this year we had to make the difficult decision to postpone the event due to Covid-19. We are continuing to actively support the community during these challenging times and look forward to being able to recognise the important work these groups are doing at our next Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards event”.

2020 Wellington Airport Wild at Heart Community Spirit Award recipients

Jamal Fiso – Rongotai College

Jamal is an involved student leader from Rongotai College serving in the roles of Head Prefect and Head of the Interact Service Club. Jamal has been involved in over 50 charity collections for groups including Mary Potter Hospice, RSA, Samaritans and Red Puppy guide dog appeal, and in the role of head of the schools’ Interact Service Club has inspired and encouraged other students to get involved. Jamal is the current Youth Member of Parliament for the Rongotai electorate, has been the Student Board of Trustees Representative at Rongotai College for two years, and played a significant role in the establishment and leadership of a Student Council. Next year, Jamal is attending Victoria University of Wellington studying law and political science.

Grace Ellis – St Catherine’s College

Grace is an active student leader in the roles of Community Captain and Mercy Crew member from St Catherine’s College. Grace runs the Friday Community Breakfast for local primary schools, organised International Week and undertook a project to knit 100 baby beanies for the Neonatal Care Unit. Over the past three years Grace was instrumental in planning and establishing the schools’ first Rainbow Group providing recognition for gender and sexual diversity, and has been active in a regional network of rainbow school leaders through InsideOUT. Grace also participated in the United Nations Youth Delegation, National Student CHOGUM, attended National Youth Drama School and adjudicated for the Wellington Speaking Union’s Intercollegiate Debating Competitions. She was awarded Dux of the college this year. Next year Grace is attending Otago University to study a Bachelor of Law, Philosophy and Politics.

Jacob Madigan – St Patrick’s College

Jacob is a selfless student leader at St Patrick’s College, serving as Deputy Head Boy, Prefect Catholic Character and an active member of the Service Committee. During lockdown, Jacob initiated an online programme supporting connectedness and wellbeing of students, and fun school-wide online competitions. Key service projects Jacob played a key role in include making 75 prayer packages (lockdown goodie bags) and assembling 25 large family food and toiletry packages distributed to those in the school community in critical need during the holiday period as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on their families. This year Jacob also contributed to collection days and fundraising for Cancer Society, Mary Potter Hospice and Women’s Refuge Street Appeals. Next year Jacob will be working as the YC Tuakana at St Patrick’s College before attending university in 2022.

Leon Bowie – Scots College

Leon is a hardworking student leader and Prefect from Scots College with a passion for robotics and technology. Leon has been instrumental in organising the IT Angels group, lending technology support to students and staff across the school. Leon instructed at The Scots Code Club, an after-school club where kids come together to enhance, grow and explore their passion for technology. Described as quiet, humble and kind, Leon has a strong commitment to service for others, becoming a dedicated member of the Student Volunteer Army, contributing over 500 hours of service to others in the past year and earning the SVA Gold Badge. Next year, Leon is attending Victoria University of Wellington studying software engineering.

Aneesha Mohamed Jaseel – Wellington East Girls’ College

Aneesha is a dedicated student leader from Wellington East Girls’ College. She serves as Library Prefect and peer tutor. She also participates in debating and badminton, and has contributed to other initiatives including book club, art club and knitting for charity. In this challenging year, Aneesha has maintained excellent grades across her subjects and has been helping other high school students through a volunteer programme at the local Kilbirnie mosque tutoring in English and Science subjects. Next year Aneesha will be attending the University of Auckland studying a Bachelor of Science.