Teens going for their goals
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.