Young mum speaks out about past

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

Kym Ver­straten is speak­ing out in the hope that her story can change lives. The 23 year old has had a drug-re­lated past but af­ter seek­ing coun­selling and sup­port from her fam­ily she is now a happy, clean solo mum with two chil­dren, Skye, nine months and Con­nor, 5.

Fol­low­ing her life-chang­ing turn­around, Miss Ver­straten ap­peared on a re­al­ity TV pro­gramme Gen­er­a­tion – Why – A Voice for Youth, cre­ated by Cen­tral TV vi­sion.

Other­wise known as Gen-Y, this four-episode pro­gramme dis­cussed many is­sues young peo­ple face in to­day’s so­ci­ety.

The episodes in­cluded youth crime and vi­o­lence in NZ; drugs, al­co­hol and chal­leng­ing the Kiwi cul­ture; tru­ancy and too much ca­reer pres­sure for Gen Y? and eth­i­cal eat­ing, an­i­mal rights and global warm­ing.

Miss Ver­straten ap­peared on the panel in the first episode, Youth Crime and Vi­o­lence in NZ and shared her



Tele- story. ‘‘I found it very help­ful. I liked the feed­back that I got from other peo­ple about my story,’’ she said. ‘‘ Gen-Y is a pow­er­ful and so­cially worth­while show and it is about un­der­stand­ing what is im­por­tant to this gen­er­a­tion.

‘‘I see that this show is like a ve­hi­cle to feel em­pow­ered to stand strong to­gether and make the change to things that so­ci­ety wakes up to.’’

Car­lie Jack­son from Cen­tral TV was the founder, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and pre­sen­ter of Gen-Y and said the show had been a huge suc­cess.

‘‘I am see­ing very quickly, this is be­com­ing al­most a por­tal for a po­lit­i­cal voice for youth. We have had mas­sive sup­port and now that it has gained such strong mo­men­tum I will be sourc­ing more fund­ing for a sec­ond se­ries,’’ she said.

‘‘I be­lieve we have only just cracked the sur­face with is­sues that need to be dis­cussed.’’

The next episodes can be viewed on Thurs­day, Au­gust 11 on SKY, chan­nel 110 at 9.30pm and on TV Cen­tral at 8.05pm.

TV star: Kym Ver­straten with her daugh­ter Skye, shared her story on Gen­er­a­tion – Why – A Voice for Youth, to help em­power change.

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