• Jess Collins - A young wahine toa
  • Paris' story: From wagging school to succeeding in life
  • Sharonika's Story

Jess Collins - A young wahine toa

We are extremely proud and pleased to announce that our very own Graeme Dingle Foundation Bay of Plenty Project K alumni Jess Collins received the Prime Minister’s Exemplar Award at this years New Zealand Youth Awards. This award recognises a young person who has overcome adversity to succeed both personally and in their contributions to their community.

Receiving this award, Jess was celebrated for her outstanding character and resilience, and as an inspiration to her peers; Jess is passionate about supporting Māori mental health and preventing suicide within her community. As a young person, she experienced adversity and challenging conditions. She was selected for Project K in 2012 and fully embraced the opportunity to grow and learn new skills.

Read Jess' Story

Paris' story: From wagging school to succeeding in life

A year after her parents separation, Paris remembers having a big assembly at her school where two kids came in and talked about the Graeme Dingle Foundation and how they went on this really crazy 14 month journey called project K. She says she remembers thinking that doing something like Project K would be quite cool.

“My name got pulled out of this bucket. I was one of 12 students who was able to do this 14 month programme,” says Paris. None of Paris’ friends wanted to do the programme with her but she remembers thinking ‘yes I can get away from this place for three weeks and not talk to anybody.’

“I was scared because everybody that we were with were either too cool, or I had no idea who they were. I got a bit nervous because this wasn’t my crowd but I ended up becoming really good friends with them and ended up becoming an unspoken leader, like a leader but without being told that I was the leader.

Read Paris' Story

Sharonika's Story

Teen Sharonika Prasad used to be scared, of life, of opportunity. She lacked self-confidence. ‘‘I had a negative mind set in which I had beliefs that I would never be successful at anything, with a very low self-esteem. ‘‘I made excuses because I had no motivation and little confidence and I let life pass me by even if it was a wonderful opportunity because I was so afraid of the unknown.’’ Not anymore. Prasad, 18, and the youngest in a family of five, is now working as a caregiver while studying a foundation course at NZMA for occupational therapy and has realised she ‘‘could do anything’’. She is the first in her family to go to university. The South Auckland teen has found her potential with the help of a charity that aims to transform young Kiwi lives – the Graeme Dingle Foundation. 

Read Sharonika's Story

Our Programmes

Off to an awesome start

Kiwi Can is our energy-packed primary school programme, aimed at children aged 5 to 12 years. It teaches values such as integrity and respect, and delivers fun-filled learning to schools all around the country.

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Helping to support Kiwi kids stay stronger together

Our Stars programme strengthens young people for that often-tricky transition into high school, through training and supporting older students to mentor and walk alongside the new year 9’s.

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The sky's the limit

"What are you going to do when you grow up?" Not a lot of teens know the answer to that old chestnut! Career Navigator helps by assisting NZ's youth with valuable information, options and guidance around work and life choices, support with achieving goals, and aiming high.

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Shaping the future

Project K kicks in at a time when some kids need it most. Designed for Year 10's, this programme builds confidence, teaches life skills, promotes good health and encourages a positive attitude. What's not to love.

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Back on track

Teenage years can be a tough time for many. But if problem situations are caught early and given a chance - given the right support - lives can be tuned around. That's what MYND is all about.

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