Youth group ‘big re­spon­si­bil­ity’

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - JENNY LING

A 22-year-old from Rawhiti has been se­lected as a Youth Ref­er­ence Group mem­ber of the NZ 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’’ for the po­si­tion, which her cousin en­cour­aged her to ap­ply for via so­cial me­dia. ’’I’m re­ally ex­cited, and pretty ner­vous as well; I haven’t done any­thing like this be­fore,’’ Pea­cock 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 is hop­ing 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 sup­port of her wha¯nau and friends.

Ash­lee Pea­cock from Rawhiti, has been se­lected as Youth Ref­er­ence Group mem­ber of the NZ Na­tional Com­mis­sion for UNESCO.

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