Masters in Creative Writing student and mental health advocate Thorne Snow has been awarded a William Georgetti Scholarship worth $20,000.
Thorne, who is working full time and studying part time, has spent time working with charities such as Variety – the Children’s Charity, the Healing Through Arts Trust and most recently, the Neurological Foundation. For his Master’s thesis, Thorne is writing a book titled ‘What It Means to Be a Cockroach’, which incorporates his childhood experiences, and talks about surviving the world and its many lashings.
He hopes to tie in the book with programmes run by the Healing Through Arts Trust and also plans to have proceeds of the book going towards prominent mental health charities. “I want to use it as a tool in schools to open up the narrative surrounding mental health,” he says.
Thorne says the scholarship will not only be a huge help financially, but it will also give more reach to his book. “I’m very grateful to William Georgetti and AUT for this scholarship. This will help to elevate the reach of my project and take away financial worry so I can focus on what I’m trying to accomplish here. Next year I’ll probably move more into part time work so I can hone in on my thesis, which would not be possible without this scholarship.”
With the disruptions of COVID-19, Thorne thought the scholarship selection wouldn’t happen this year. However, instead of the original plan of an interview at the Government House, he faced a panel of six (including the Governor General) on Zoom, a process he says was both ‘intense and amazing’. “They were all super friendly, even if I didn’t get the scholarship, just the experience of being able to talk to such an incredible panel was awesome,” he says.
This is not Thorne’s first scholarship, he was also awarded the Woolf Fisher First-in-Family AUT Scholarship for his undergraduate studies and is thankful to have had that support. For anyone thinking of applying for a scholarship, he encourages them to just give it a go. “Don’t doubt yourself, just give it a shot. Put aside a couple of days or a week to focus on applying for scholarships. In the grand scheme of things, it can pay for your tuition which is a huge weight off your shoulders.”
The purpose of the William Georgetti Scholarship is to encourage postgraduate study and research, normally in New Zealand, in a field that in the opinion of the Scholarship Board is important to the social, cultural or economic development of New Zealand.
In New Zealand up to $20,000 per year is awarded for Masters study and $30,000 per year for doctoral study.