Class of: 2004
School: Mt Roskill Grammar School
Scholarship Partner: Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd
At school Yolunda was tagged as an impressive student who stood out for her academic excellence, a conscientious work ethic and a friendly manner. In her Yr 9 she got the Top Aggregate exam mark for the year, and in Yr 11 she won the Rotary Club Distinction Award for Character and Service. Throughout high school Yolunda's passion and talent for Visual Arts stood out.
During her First Foundation Scholarship with Vitatco Health, Yolunda developed a strong relationship with her Mentor Sheree Nicholas. Sheree saw potential in Yolunda and as she journeyed watched her young Mentee grow immensely in self confidence. Sarah Kennedy, Managing Director at Healtheries also saw outstanding features in Yolunda. At the 2004 Scholarship Awards Ms Kennedy said "Healtheries recognised that Yolunda is a young woman who is going places; she has a willingness to teach and be taught." Yolunda herself claims that through her work experience she has learnt a number of valuable lessons in "being an adult in a big business environment."
Since school Yolunda has aspired to hone her skills as an artist. Consequently she studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Whitecliffe College and graduated in 2009, also with the award of Top Scholar. In 2013 she completed a Master of Fine Arts at Elam and is currently completing her Doctorate in Fine Arts at Elam.
She is also Lecturing at Elam and Whitecliffe and regularly exhibits her work, and occasionally gives talks and writes about art.
Yolunda has a 3m x 8m installation, titled "Of the World (Stars)", in the lobby of the the Old South British Building, Shortland Street, which was unveiled on the 20 August, 2014.