Community Scoop

Thumbs up for Marvin

Press Release – UCOL

UCOL student Marvin Chase used his thumb almost as much as his brain this year.Thumbs up for Marvin

UCOL student Marvin Chase used his thumb almost as much as his brain this year.

For four days every week, Marvin hitch hiked from his home in Dannevirke to UCOL’s Palmerston North campus, to study for his Certificate in Electrical and Related Trades.

The 43 year old’s dedication to his studies gained recognition from the Tararua REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme) organisation which awarded him an Outstanding Learners Award during Adult Learners Week/He Tangata Mātauranga in November.

The week is an occasion for raising the profile of adult learning in New Zealand and to celebrate the wide range of learning opportunities available, and the impact that adult learning has on people’s lives.

Marvin (Ngati Kahunungu Rangitane) says it was very gratifying to be nominated for the award.

In her supporting statement for Marvin’s nomination, UCOL Community Liaison officer Kay Coley says, “Marvin has no mode of transport other than relying on the good will of others as he steps out daily in all kinds of weather to hitch hike every day to his course to Palmerston North. That is 110 kms each day. In the winter months, and also with the Gorge closure, that is no mean feat.”

Adult & Community Education Coordinator for Tararua REAP Marianne Gemmell, says Marvin ticked all the boxes for the awards criteria. “The Adult Learners Awards recognise our local community learners, who had taken themselves out of their comfort zones to attend adult training, upskill, further their education and become role models to their children, grandchildren, family/whanau and peers.”

Marvin studied towards a National Certificate in Automotive Engineering last year but lacked the determination to complete to Level 3.

“I got into a bad habit of saying I was dumb, but with the encouragement of the UCOL lecturers I have learnt that I’m not,” says Marvin. “Now I get annoyed when people say they are dumb. They are not, they are just lazy.”

“This year I was committed to get to classes and finish what I started,” he says. That meant putting out his thumb for a ride across the Tararua Ranges.

“I really enjoyed hitch hiking and I met some really interesting people,” he says. “I treated the experience as taonga (treasure).”

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