Teens’ success saluted
Three Waikato students have been recognised for their achievements at the Graeme Dingle Foundation 2018 Excellence Awards.
It was an opportunity to celebrate more than 27,000 students, their mentors, leaders and volunteers across the country who have been involved in the foundation’s various youth development programmes, including Kiwi Can, Stars, Career Navigator, Project K and MYND — over the previous 12 months.
An awards evening in Auckland celebrated the achievements of the young people, many of whom have bounced back from hardship and conquered challenges to chart a positive course through life.
Fairfield College student Rea Toma, 17, and Nga¯ ruawa¯ hia High School student Charlie Ryan, 16, were awarded Career Navigator Excellence Awards for showing outstanding progress and commitment to the programme.
Career Navigator is one of the Foundation’s five programmes designed to prepare 15 to 18 year olds for work. It aims to provide young people with practical skills, information and confidence they need to make informed decision about their futures.
“The Career Navigator programme allowed us to have real insight into the workplace, and I’ve learnt that anything is possible, as long as you make it happen. Although there’s been a lot of self-doubt and setbacks though high school, these challenges have helped me develop my resilience and strength. Thanks to the programme, I’m confident that I will firmly grasp my opportunities and tackle whatever obstacle that comes next,” Rea says. Career Navigator programme coordinator Victoria Tsoy says Charlie has proved a highly motivated, hardworking and driven young person with exceptional leadership skills.
“She cares deeply about her school and community and is willing to dedicate her energy into resolving social and economic issues that exist in her school and the Nga¯ ruawahia community. Charlie is an inspiring example for the next Career Navigator cohort at her school, showing how positive attitude, good work ethic, and dedication can take you a long way.”
Also honoured was Tokoroa High School student Hawea Solomon, who was awarded a Stars Excellence Award for demonstrating strong leadership and being a positive role-model at school.
The Stars programme has Year 9s mentored by older students (16-18 year olds) to help with their transition to secondary school. During the transition, the programme aims to create a empowering experience for Year 9s that creates engagement, increased academic achievements and builds a strong sense of community in the school.
From Left: Charlie Ryan, Ngaruawahia High School; Rea Toma, Fairfield College, and Hawea Solomon, Tokoroa High School, who all received Excellence Awards.