Teens go­ing for their goals

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Teenagers are leap­ing and bound­ing to­wards their fu­ture in Porirua – quite lit­er­ally – thanks to a goal-set­ting pro­gramme fo­cused on sports and per­form­ing arts.

Forty bud­ding ath­letes, singers and dancers from Porirua and Tawa are be­ing men­tored un­der the C4Life pro­gramme, run by Porirua youth em­pow­er­ment trust, Yes to Youth.

Teens are nom­i­nated for the course if they show ta­lent but have ob­sta­cles to suc­cess, such as no money for equip­ment, fam­ily is­sues or un­clear goals, Yes to Youth man­ager Alofi Tuaoi said.

‘‘A lot of those young peo­ple, they just fall off the radar,’’ he said.

Once a week the teens meet at Porirua Col­lege to net­work, dance or play sport to­gether, and hear Yes to Youth staff and youth men­tors speak.

One-on-one men­tor­ing hap­pens through the week and teens are given the op­por­tu­nity to meet their role mod­els, whether it’s a train­ing ses­sion with the Saints bas­ket­ball team or a re­hearsal with an es­tab­lished dance troupe. Meet­ing role mod­els fo­cuses the teens on their goal-set­ting, Mr Tuaoi said.

‘‘They can see they need to get some or­der in their lives to reach that level.’’

Fif­teen-year-old Porirua Col­lege stu­dent and promis­ing bas­ket­baller Daniel Takie strug­gled with lack of mo­ti­va­tion and shy­ness be­fore join­ing C4Life’s pilot pro­gramme last year.

‘‘ I found it difficult to make prac­tices,’’ he said. ‘‘I used to be shy to get up there and show what I could do. When I joined this it just helped me to get out there, take a chance.’’

Daniel was sent to train with the Saints play­ers, in what he calls a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity.

Join­ing the Auck­land Break­ers team is still a goal of Daniel’s but C4Life has sparked a pas­sion for dance and now he di­rects his en­ergy to­wards per­for­mances and dance bat­tles against school mates.

Aotea Col­lege stu­dent De­siree Tuaoi, 16, is on a path to­wards her dream ca­reer of ‘‘dact­ing’’, which com­bines danc­ing and act­ing.

‘‘Go­ing through the pro­gramme re­ally helped me gain con­fi­dence and lead­er­ship skills. It re­ally shows on stage as well,’’ De­siree said.

Teens on track: C4Life co-or­di­na­tor Lee Malaulau with two teens he has helped fo­cus on their dreams – ‘‘dac­tor’’ and touch player De­siree Tuaoi, 16, and bas­ket­baller and dancer Daniel Takie.

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