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Students future brighter with Counties Power

15 May 2019

Counties Power has awarded its inaugural First Foundation Scholarship to Pokeno student Sophia Chen. Sophia graduated as a top scholar at Pukekohe High School and is now in her first year at Auckland University, studying a Bachelor of Engineering. 

The scholarship programme matches a deserving local student with a local organisation to provide financial assistance towards university fees and paid work.  Counties Power has assisted Sophia with her fees and provides part-time work at Counties Power during the four-year First Foundation Scholarship programme.

Miss Chen says the award has benefitted her in more ways than just financial.  “University is certainly challenging and most of my time is spent studying so having less financial pressure to pay my fees and to know I have paid holiday work is fantastic.  I’m also learning valuable workplace skills and being mentored at Counties Power, which is aiding my career development.”

Counties Power has named the First Foundation award the Bob Arvidson Memorial Scholarship in honour of one of the first trustees of the Counties Power Consumer Trust. Mr Arvidson was a strong community supporter and was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the community.

Counties Power General Manager People, Safety and Communications Tracey Kay says the company was extremely impressed by Sophia’s dedication to her studies, her hobbies, her peers and to her family.  

“Sophia is hugely deserving of the Bob Arvidson Memorial Scholarship and Counties Power is proud is assist someone of her calibre achieve her dream of gaining a degree.  Not only does Sophia excel academically, at high school she was also a peer support leader and involved in music and sports, while also volunteering at Franklin Food Forest and helping her family on their farm.  We look forward to watching her thrive as a tertiary student and as she progresses with her chosen career.” 

To find out more about the First Foundation scholarship programme go to or ask a school career advisor.

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