Blake's Ka Mahi Scholarship - Outward Bound

Blake's Ka Mahi Scholarship

My Course, Inspirational

With the financial help of a Ka Mahi Scholarship, Otago Unversity student Blake Porteous was able to attend a 21-day Outward Bound Classic course.

We caught up with Blake to see what he got out of his OB course and why he'd recommend others to apply for a scholarship.

Kia ora Blake! Where do you live and what do you do?
I live down in Dunners (Dunedin) and am currently a student at Otago University studying Physical Education.

How did you hear about Outward Bound and our Ka Mahi Scholarship?
I first heard about Outward Bound 4 years ago when my mate from school when on it. He told me about his experiences and I got really excited listening to him. I started researching OB and watching videos on it and saw that it was something for me. But life got in the way and I didn’t apply for a scholarship until 4 years later when someone suggested I apply for a scholarship, so I finally applied for the Ka Mahi and I got it! Was absolutely stoked!

What were your reasons for applying for a scholarship?
I wanted to go to OB ever since my mate did and that thought always stuck in the back of my mind. But since I’m a Uni student I don't have much of an income, the financial boost from the scholarship was really crucial in helping me get to Outward Bound.

Was it an easy process to apply and get booked on a course?
Yes, it was quite a simple process. I only had to fill out the application form online, then the OB team emailed the rest of the details of what I needed to do.

How would you describe the overall OB experience?
The whole time I honestly felt so happy and privileged to be there. It was an absolutely unreal experience!

What were your highlights?
Before going on course I thought that doing all the outdoor activities were going to be my highs. They were and I loved them, especially the tramping, but my biggest highlight was definitely the friendships I made with all the beautiful people in my group.

Any lowlights or challenges?
I never really had any lows, although the most challenging activity for me was sailing. I’d never sailed before and having to manoeuvre the cutter in some pretty strong winds made me anxious throughout, but knowing that my supportive watchmates were there with me really helped.

How would you describe your watchmates as a whole?
A compassionate, willing, and beautiful bunch of people that I was very lucky to be put with.

Did you learn anything new or surprising about yourself at OB?
I have gained a better understanding of my values and what’s important in life. 

What learnings and/or goals did you take away from your OB course?
Take opportunities when they arise and being more open and honest with those around you helps you to connect with them while feeling better about yourself at the same time. Be yourself, take off that mask :)

What would you say to someone who’s uncertain about Outward Bound and applying for a scholarship?
Do it! Why not, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What's next for Blake?
Finish off my Uni degree and get amongst life making a positive impact whether it be big or small.


Blake Porteous - Huriwhenua 650

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Ka Mahi! Great Work!

OBNZ’s Ka Mahi Scholarship programme is supported by a variety of individuals, organisations and foundations. The programme makes participation on our Classic course possible for youth who come from less advantaged socio-economic and/or cultural backgrounds and those actively volunteering in their community.

Apply for a Ka Mahi Scholarship

*Eligibility criteria applies.