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Balancing school work with extra-curricular school leadership responsibilities and sport is difficult, but the 17-year-old says her biggest challenge during the past year has been living in a flat.
She has been flatting with three other people since she was 16 and relies on a Government benefit and part-time work at a local store to pay her bills.
Making the money go far enough to pay for food, electricity and rent is challenging but Sharon says the experience has given her a crash course on budgeting and how to be independent.
"It would be easy to fall into the trap of being an under-achiever, but I try to take every opportunity that comes my way and I'm determined to make something of myself."
Sharon is a former cross-country champion and has a passion for the outdoors.
She completed a Sport Fitness and Recreation Industry Training Organisation National Award in Outdoor Experiences last year in which she achieved a river safety certificate, a first aid certificate and a belay licence to handle ropes for rock climbers.
While Sharon is comfortable looking after others in the outdoors, she plans to make a career out of pampering people in luxurious hotels.
She hopes to study a Diploma in Hospitality Management at Otago Polytechnic next year.
Achievements: House captain (2008); School Council (2008); Girls basketball A team (2008); River safety Certificate (2008); First aid Certificate (2008); Belay licence (2008); School diligence award (2006); Cross-country champion (2005).
Role model: "I admire people who are going somewhere in life."
Hopes for the future: To study hospitality at Otago Polytechnic.