Klara’s story

f2 — By on October 12, 2016 2:37 pm

New Zealand needs more great doctors.

Klara Kissova is determined to be one of them and she knows she wouldn’t be a Health Science student now if she hadn’t received a scholarship – funded by a large number of University of Auckland alumni.

Klara is originally from Slovakia and has lived in New Zealand since she was eight years old. She went to school in Wellington and always loved science subjects. At the end of Year 10, she and her siblings accidently caused their mother to sprain her ankle badly. The experience of seeing the x-rays of her mother’s foot turned out to be a pivotal moment in deciding on her goals for the future.

“I saw only the foot. I couldn’t find anything wrong with it at all and it frustrated me. I wanted to learn more.” She decided that she would combine her interest in science with wanting to work one-to-one to help other people.

She would aim towards a medical degree and a career in a hospital setting, probably in radiology or surgery. Becoming a doctor was always going to be difficult financially, especially as it meant moving away from her home in Wellington. But it became a lot more difficult than Klara could ever have imagined.

“My father passed away in mid- November 2014 after battling cancer for three years. I have two older siblings who are also attending University and put together with the needed healthcare costs, money gradually became a big problem.”

Even with a summer job, Studylink allowances and a loan, Klara would not have been able to cover her costs. “I was faced with either receiving a finance-helping scholarship or not being able to go to University at all.”

Help did come – in the form of a scholarship provided through the University, sourced from many gifts of “modest” sums from alumni through the annual appeal.

“I don’t think I will ever forget the moment I was awarded the scholarship – it felt like one of those life changing moments you only see on TV. I checked the email several times to see if I had misread it.”

Klara says that receiving the scholarship changed the course of her life.

“To all the generous donors, I wish you could see how much of a difference you are making in my life as well as to any student who has or will receive a financial scholarship in the future. You are what ultimately enabled us to study here in Auckland and in my case even allowed the next step of my life to be possible. Thank you, thank you, forever.

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