Tiaki Rhodes receiving his Altrusa Award by St Paul's Collegiate School

Tiaki Receives Altrusa Youth Award

Tiaki was nominated for the award for his outstanding contribution to all four cornerstones of St Paul’s – academic, sport, culture and service.

He is a decent, well-mannered man who is a role model to fellow students and often finds his peers coming to him for advice. He is very active in the community, volunteering his time in the school’s service programme, “Over the Fence Ministry” and has participated in raising money for the “Shave for a Cure” cause and the school’s charity relay.

Since his arrival at St Paul’s Collegiate School at the start of 2018, Tiaki has quickly become a well-respected young adult amongst his peers. On three separate occasions he received the boarding house citizenship award, a highly sought-after prize given to the boarding student deemed the most encouraging, respectful and who adds the most to the living environment.

Tiaki is a strong academic and passed NCEA Level 1 with a merit endorsement. He is also a gifted athlete and has represented Northland and Bay of Plenty in rugby from under 10 to under 15 levels. He participates in the school’s service programme “Over the Fence Ministry” which sees him give up countless lunch time hours to help students in lower decile primary schools.

However, these accolades are not the sole reason for Tiaki receiving this award. On December 27 2018, Tiaki had an accident while riding an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) on his family farm. The vehicle rolled over his face and body, leaving Tiaki with broken facial bones. Several surgeries later, he required three metal plates and 15 screws to rebuild his cheek, and 20 staples to hold his head together.

Tiaki’s response was to show the resilience and tenacity, something St Paul’s community has become accustomed to seeing from this young man. Instead of dwelling on his woes, he focused on the positives and drew strength from his experiences. He delivered a powerful and inspirational sermon to the school on the importance of family and friend support in overcoming adversity.

He has continued to excel academically, has passed NCEA Level 2 and is well on his way to achieving a merit endorsement or higher. He also managed to recover from his injuries to condition himself for 1st XV rugby and was rewarded with selection into the Waikato under 17 team.

We congratulate Tiaki on receiving this award.