'Bernadette is a conscientious and driven student. When she sets her mind to a task she will achieve it and has the potential to make a significant contribution to the economy and our community. She is dedicated, diligent and commands respect by her presence,' wrote her Year 12 Dean at McAuley High School at the time of her application to be a First Foundation scholar.
At school Bernadette was a focused student and received awards for coming first amongst her peers in Science, Mathematics and Physical Education.
Renowned, both at school and in the wider community, for her sporting prowess, Bernadette favoured League, Netball and Touch. She was also recognised for her leadership potential both within sport and beyond. In 2010 she was part of the Mangere Youth Member of Parliament candidate, just one of many other committees and school councils.
"Bernadette is a strong young woman who inspired us in her interview both with her determination to succeed, and her pride in her Samoan ethnicity. She is an obvious role model for her peers and displays huge potential as a future leader in whatever she chooses to do," stated Jo Mason, General Manager , Corporate & Niche Business at NZI.
At the completion of Year 13, Bernadette went on to study Engineering at The University of Auckland which she completed at the end of 2015. She is currently working in Wellington for Transpower Ltd as graduate engineer.