National Awards Celebrate Outstanding Kiwi Youngsters

Press Release – Foundation For Youth Development

Last night 19 extraordinary young people from around the country were honoured at the annual FYD Excellence Awards in Auckland. From students who once lacked the confidence to speak in class to those who were youth gang leaders, the Awards recognise their …4 November 2011

National Awards Celebrate Outstanding Kiwi Youngsters From Around New Zealand

Last night 19 extraordinary young people from around the country were honoured at the annual FYD Excellence Awards in Auckland. From students who once lacked the confidence to speak in class to those who were youth gang leaders, the Awards recognise their amazing courage in turning their lives around.

The students spoke of their experiences and how the programmes had impacted on their lives to a rapt audience which included Minster for Social Development, Paula Bennett, Peter Hillary and FYD co-founders Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson.

“I had no goals and no self-respect. On Project K I learnt about choices. I learnt that I have to choose to make something of myself, and that I won’t get anywhere in life without putting in the hard work,” says Ayla Barnes, a Project K student from Tauranga.

The Awards celebrate the life-changing accomplishments of young people, mentors and leaders chosen from the thousands of participants involved in the Foundation’s three school-based programmes – Kiwi Can, Stars, Project K and also from its youth offender programme, MYND.

FYD co-founder and executive director, Jo-anne Wilkinson, says that they are the highlight of the FYD year and a chance to truly acknowledge the exceptional accomplishments of outstanding young people, many of whom have made massive changes to both their outlook and their lives.

“These kids have been on an epic and life-changing journey, a journey which many adults would find incredibly challenging, yet they have grabbed it with both hands and their achievements are remarkable,” she says.

“Our philosophy is all about prevention rather than cure and this makes huge fiscal sense for New Zealand as a whole. If a child went through all FYD’s three school-based programmes, Kiwi Can, Stars and Project K the maximum cost is $10,000 over a 13.5 year period, less than $1000 per year.

“However, if they left school early without qualifications and got into trouble, the direct cost of intervening with a programme to try to keep them out of prison is up to $28K per six months per person. If they went on to prison this cost increases to over $100K per annum, plus potentially the costs of supporting their family through welfare and so on. FYD believes in investing early to prevent this.”

The FYD Excellence Awards were held at the newly refurbished Auckland City Art Gallery on Thurs 03 November, 2011.

In total, 19 youngsters from around New Zealand will be honoured including: outstanding graduates of FYD’s Project K and MYND programmes, young people who have truly turned their lives around; the outstanding contribution of Stars Peer Mentors and Kiwi Can Leaders, young people themselves who are making such a difference in the lives of others; and the Sir Edmund Hillary Youth Achievement Award for FYD alumni who have gone on to achieve in amazing ways.

The students travelled to Auckland for a fun-packed day including a visit to the Sky Tower and culminating in the official awards ceremony last night.

FYD currently helps approximately 18,000 young New Zealanders each year via its Kiwi Can, Stars, Project K and MYND programmes. All of the programmes aim to give young people the opportunity to realise their full potential and overcome challenges in order to succeed in life.

Award recipients:

FYD Excellence Award for Kiwi Can Leaders: Martina Grace, Auckland Kiwi Can, Mel Osborn, FYD Bay of Plenty, Mia Wilson, Whangaroa Kiwi Can.

FYD Excellence Award for Stars Peer Mentors: Callum Knott FYD Wellington, Melissa Appel FYD Waikato, Samuel Dempsey FYD Waitakere.

FYD Excellence Award for Outstanding Project K graduates: Ayla Barnes FYD Bay of Plenty, Cody Humphreys FYD Waitakere, Daniel Barrow FYD Hawke’s Bay, Krishneel Krishna Project K Manukau, Maddisyn Cederwall Project K North Shore, Mere Elliott Project K Auckland Central, Mikayla Wilson FYD Marlborough, Reuben Ward FYD Southland, Simon Pitts FYD Waikato and Thorn Callaghan FYD Wellington.

FYD Excellence Award for Outstanding MYND graduates: Elijah Rangaihaeata and Dylan Archer

Sir Edmund Hillary Youth Achievement Award for Outstanding FYD Alumni: Paula Fangaloka, Project K graduate

About FYD

FYD programmes use the great outdoors, inspirational classroom leaders and world class mentors to help kids from age 5 to 18 keep on track, develop confidence and self-belief and create goals for the future.

Programmes focus on leadership skills, building confidence, developing life skills and teambuilding to help kids discover possibility and motivation, creating a youth population with a positive outlook and eyes open to the future.

FYD’s programmes are run in 20 regions across New Zealand by licensed community trusts, together reaching over 18 000 young people every year. www.fyd.org.nz

ENDS

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