Stu­dent se­lected for UN youth tour

Horowhenua Chronicle - - GARDENING - By ROS­ALIE WIL­LIS

Zianna McLeod from Otaki ¯ Col­lege has been se­lected for the United Na­tions Youth New Zealand’s Global De­vel­op­ment Tour for 2019.

The tour is a month-long study tour, tak­ing 22 high school stu­dents from around New Zealand to the cities at the fore­front of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment around the world.

“My first re­ac­tion on get­ting in was shock and dis­be­lief,” Zianna said.

“I was filled with ex­cite­ment but there was a great deal of dis­be­lief — a lot of it. “I was over the moon to say the least. “I strug­gled to be­lieve that I’d been cho­sen for this amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity as I’m just a stu­dent from a very small com­mu­nity com­pared to big­ger places.”

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment,” Tour di­rec­tor Mitchell Fraser said.

“Places on the del­e­ga­tion are com­pet­i­tive and Zianna’s se­lec­tion as part of the del­e­ga­tion, par­tic­u­larly as a Year 12 stu­dent, re­flects the qual­ity of both her writ­ten ap­pli­ca­tion and in­ter­view.”

The tour’s pur­pose is to show­case the need for a multi-di­men­sional, global ef­fort to achieve the United Na­tions’ 17 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs), by meet­ing with a range of in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing to achieve the SDGs.

The tour will visit cities cho­sen for their re­la­tion or sig­nif­i­cance to one or more of the SDG’s — New York, Lon­don, Paris, Berlin, Vi­enna, Rome and Hong Kong.

“I’m def­i­nitely ex­cited to meet the other del­e­gates as they’re ob­vi­ously amaz­ing peo­ple with great pas­sions for the sus­tain­abil­ity of a bet­ter fu­ture for hu­mans, an­i­mals and the Earth.

“I also hope to in­spire other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity es­pe­cially young stu­dents to ful­fil their pas­sions no mat­ter how ran­dom or im­pos­si­ble they seem and even if they’ve been told not to, or that they can’t, to still have some hope and put them­selves out there as they mat­ter.”

A very pas­sion­ate per­son, Zianna is ac­tive within her school, lead­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in many groups such as de­bate clubs, stu­dent sup­port groups, Girl Up and ad­vo­cat­ing for gen­der equal­ity through gen­der neu­tral uni­forms and uni­sex toi­lets.

She is also very ac­tive within the wider com­mu­nity vol­un­teer­ing with the O¯ taki sum­mer hol­i­day read­ing pro­gramme, New Zealand Breast Can­cer, the Heart Foun­da­tion and World Vi­sion.

“I have a strong in­ter­est in that of sup­port­ing oth­ers.

“I care greatly on the qual­ity and quan­tity of what op­por­tu­ni­ties peo­ple have, and am pas­sion­ate about ed­u­ca­tion, health and hu­man rights.

“Th­ese are def­i­nitely not just my in­ter­ests but are my pas­sions.”

“The col­lege is in­cred­i­bly proud to have Zianna se­lected to rep­re­sent the youth of New Zealand for this tour,” O¯ taki Col­lege prin­ci­pal Andy Fraser said.

“Zianna is an out­stand­ing pupil and a young woman who has a pas­sion for hu­man rights.

The tour is self-funded, with Zianna need­ing to raise $8000 to go on the trip.

“While the col­lege is do­ing all it can to sup­port Zianna in rais­ing $8000 in a very short time this is not easy so we would en­cour­age peo­ple and busi­nesses in Ka¯ piti to take every op­por­tu­nity to sup­port her in fundrais­ing,” Mr Fraser said.

‘I strug­gled to be­lieve that I’d been cho­sen for this amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity as I’m just a stu­dent from a very small com­mu­nity com­pared to big­ger ’ places.

■ To sup­port Zianna con­tact Mr Fraser or his sec­re­tary, Vivi­enne White on 06 364 8204.


Zianna McLeod.

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