Class of: 2009
School: Linwood College
Scholarship Partner: Spark New Zealand
Simona moved with her family to New Zealand from Macedonia in 1996. Her extensive sporting, academic, cultural and leadership commitments throughout school demonstrated her willingness to embrace every experience that schooling in New Zealand has offered her. The recipient of numerous awards, Simona established herself as one of the top students at Linwood College. Amongst her list of endeavours, she showed herself to be an enthusiastic athlete in football and water polo and was made House Leader at her school in 2009. Outside of school, Simona learned more about leadership and teamwork from her dedicated involvement with the New Zealand Cadet Force as a Sea Cadet at Redcliffs beach.
Sandro Ribeiro, Telecom Store Manager for Riccarton, Christchurch reports "Simona has a formidable intellect and a maturity beyond her years."
Simona completed a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry and Cell Biology) from the University of Canterbury in 2013, winning academic prizes on the way, and then followed this with postgraduate honours.
Simona is travelled overseas with her husband, working part time, and doing some volunteer work. In 2016 Simona received funding from the Australian Government for her PHD on Toxoplasma at Melbourne University.