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Student Stories

Engineering a bright future

ACG Strathallan alumnus William Cornish dreams of making a positive impact on the world through engineering – and he’s off to a flying start.

Poised to embark on a civil engineering degree at Canterbury University, William has been granted both the UC Hiranga Scholarship for academic excellence and the UC Horomata Scholarship, which recognises academic achievement alongside leadership potential and community/cultural involvement. Better still, the Horomata comes with the chance to participate in a University of Canterbury sponsored leadership programme.

“Receiving these scholarships is an amazing achievement and has made all the hard work I put in at school rewarding and worthwhile,” says William.

“I’m really looking forward to being able to study and specialise in engineering directly and put the knowledge I gained at ACG Strathallan to use in a practical sense. I’m also excited to meet new people and experience a different and more independent way of living.”

Five years at ACG Strathallan have laid rock-solid foundations for the focused teen.

“ACG has helped me develop a strong and determined work ethic with the goal of always achieving the very best I can. I’ve learnt to manage my time well and make the most of sporting and social opportunities while ensuring I stay up to date with schoolwork and study.”

Academic excellence has always been a priority for William, who has consistently been the top design and technology student at Strathallan (across IGCSE, AS-Level and A2-Level). But extracurricular activities have played a leading role in his school-life as well. During his time at ACG, William earned his bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh awards and enjoyed a 10-day voyage around the Marlborough Sounds on the Spirit of Adventure.

Additionally, in 2020 he was the Sports Prefect, and captain of the first XI hockey and cricket teams. And at the end of year prizegiving, the talented athlete gained the Sportsmanship Award (first XI boys hockey) and Best All-Round Performance Award, which recognises the student who has demonstrated the overall highest level of ability in a wide range of different spheres.

He also learnt some powerful lessons.

“During the Covid-19 lockdowns, I realised how privileged I am to have attended an exceptional high school and to have a supportive family, friends and teachers who played a huge part in maintaining a sense of normality and helping me get through the lockdowns without losing track of the school year.

“ACG Strathallan taught me to take advantage of all opportunities thrown my way in any area of life. From the hockey tournament weeks and the design and technology practical work, to being part of the 2020 prefect team and getting involved in a variety of school activities, there were so many highlights!”