Meet the Auckland biomedical science major whose mission is to help improve health outcomes for Pacific communities once he finishes his studies.
Logan Hoani Fenton, 21, is specialising in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Auckland and is a Toloa scholarship recipient.
The Toloa programme is one of MPP’s flagship initiative supporting Pacific peoples in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) pathways, over a whole of life approach.
Toloa Tertiary Scholarships aim to inspire and support Pacific students in their engagement with STEAM. Scholarships include tertiary tuition fees and compulsory course-related fees up to $10,000 for one year of fulltime study in STEAM-related courses.
Logan was born and raised in the Auckland suburb of Māngere.
He attended Papatoetoe North School, Holy Cross School and Sancta Maria College in Botany.
He just completed his Bachelor of Science at the university and plans to undertake a postgraduate diploma.
After that, Logan will focus on completing a master’s degree and then a PhD.
He says further down the track, he wants to work as a healthcare professional or as a clinical researcher.
“At the moment, Pacific people are severely under-represented in the STEAM
space,” Logan says.
“We need more of our people in this space to increase Pacific employment, improve Pacific health outcomes and target issues close to home like global warming and how it affects our islands.
“I hope to be a good role model for our Pacific people to show them what is possible in the STEAM space.
“I know that the inequalities affecting our people are partly due to the lack of knowledge of the Pacific community and the restricted access to services provided by Pacific people for Pacific people.”
Logan says the Toloa Tertiary Scholarship has helped his education pathway without the added financial burden on himself and his parents.
He also says his greatest learning this year was in relation to gene editing, and being introduced to specific technology that could help cure people who have incurable diseases.
Logan’s Pacific heritage is through his mother’s family, who are descendants of a Tahitian Pomare queen and were originally from Huahine; an island in French Polynesia.
If you would like to know more information about Toloa, please visit the MPP website HERE. The fund is closed.