Youth post ‘big responsibility’
A 22-year-old from Rawhiti has been selected as a Youth Reference Group member of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.
Ashlee Peacock is one of six young people making up the group, announced on October 16. The others are Shaymaaa Arif, Injy Johnstone, Peter McKenzie, Nola Smart and Charlotte Steel.
Peacock says she is ‘‘humbled and grateful. I’m really excited, and pretty nervous as well; I haven’t done anything like this before,’’ she says.
The group is chaired by a special youth advisor and provides advice to the National Commission on how to engage young people in UNESCO’s work programmes.
UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - is a specialised agency of the United Nations system and supports peace and sustainable development through dialogue and sharing knowledge.
The successful candidates are high performing academically, display strong leadership qualities and are active in their communities. Peacock is currently completing a double major in law and psychology at University of Waikato, and is set to graduate in December 2018.
The former Bay of Islands College student says she hopes to inspire and encourage others.
‘‘Coming from a small community, I want to focus on issues that a lot of these kids are facing in these rural areas. There’s sometimes a lack of opportunity, and a lack of motivation...I want to provide encouragement and inspiration to help kids to take a hold of their futures rather than live in the day to day moment.’’
Peacock has received numerous scholarships for leadership including the Festival for the Future Scholarship, Maori Education Trust Scholarship and Ngai Tukairangi Trust Scholarship.
Voluntary work includes a placement with the He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust, and acting as a support worker for Enrich Plus, to help empower youth with disabilities to reach their goals. Peacock says she wouldn’t be the person she is today without the love and support of her wha¯nau and friends.
‘‘I wish to provide a voice and a platform for youth within our most deprived communities and help rangatahi to be empowered to recognise that they are rangatira of their own future.’’
Ashlee Peacock from Rawhiti, has been selected as Youth Reference Group member.