$20,000 Rocket Lab Scholarship Awarded to Aspiring Young Māori Doctor
Auckland, New Zealand. February 24, 2023 – Rocket Lab USA Inc, (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch and space systems company, has today awarded its $20,000 Rocket Lab Scholarship to a student determined to make a difference in health for Māori.
Lilli-Peach Simpson-Maru of Rongomaiwahine, who has ancestral ties to Mahia where Rocket Lab operates and launches its Electron rockets, has been awarded the Rocket Lab Scholarship to support her goal of becoming a doctor through the University of Otago.
The Rocket Lab Scholarship supports and encourages students from the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and Te Matau-a-Māui/Hawke’s Bay regions that surround Rocket Lab’s launch site in Mahia to pursue science, technology, engineering, or maths (STEM) at tertiary level, and has been granted annually since 2017. The Rocket Lab Scholarship covers up to $20,000 of tertiary education costs for up to four years of study and includes mentorship from Rocket Lab.
“I want to make [the health industry] a safe space for tangata whenua,” said Miss Simpson-Maru of her vision for health equity for Māori. “The Rocket Lab Scholarship will not only help me financially but also professionally through the mentorship side involved. I feel extremely grateful and humbled to have been given this opportunity and I feel like it has allowed me to become closer to my whenua and tupuna.”
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said: “The Rocket Lab Scholarship is about supporting young people who want to make a real difference in the world, whether that’s through aerospace or a different STEM field. Lilli-Peach is a great example of someone who clearly has a strong drive to support her community and become a leader in a critically important field, so we’re proud to enable that with the Rocket Lab scholarship.”
The Rocket Lab Scholarship was founded to directly support the community surrounding Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula. It is designed to foster continued excellence and innovation amongst New Zealand’s next generation of STEM leaders. Applications for the annual scholarship open in term four each year at rocketlabusa.com. Previous Rocket Lab scholars are currently completing degrees in astronomy.