Community focused student, Brylee Comer, to attend Aspiring Leaders Forum at Parliament buildings this July
When looking for a young wahine with a bold vision who displays all the promise of becoming one of tomorrow’s game-changing leaders, look no further than Graeme Dingle Foundation ex-student, Brylee Comer.
An agent of social change, youth group facilitator, Victoria University student and soon-to-be attendee at the prestigious Aspiring Leaders Forum at Parliament – you’d be forgiven for being humbled by this young woman’s achievements.
But Brylee’s journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and she credits Graeme Dingle Foundation’s Project K for turning her life around.
“Throughout High School I was described as shy, introverted, and quiet. I was never outgoing, and I didn’t apply myself in any extracurricular activities. In year 10 I [took part in] Project K run by the Graeme Dingle Foundation, since then I have become more involved with my community and the people around me. The people I met throughout these experiences really helped, the mentors and friends I gained who I still keep in contact with to this day,”
The Foundation’s Project K is a 14-month programme for Year 10 students with three components: A Wilderness Adventure, Community Challenge and Mentoring.
The programmes’ Wilderness Adventure breaks down barriers challenging a student’s physical and mental ability. Through the Community Challenge students think about what their community needs for the future and undertake a project, while the Mentoring component sees participants peered with a personal mentor for a minimum of 12 months.
When looking at Comers list of achievements since Project K and her attitude toward doing great things, it’s easy to see why she’s been selected to attend the Aspiring Leaders Forum.
“Because of my experiences and seeing first-hand the way these programmes helped me to grow into the person I am today, I love to give back through volunteering and being an agent of social change as a facilitator and leader in these programmes. Being able to see young people influenced by the same things that helped me is the most rewarding experience I have had. I went on to facilitate Youth Groups and take more leadership opportunities when they arose and received awards I had never thought I was capable of even being nominated for.”
The forum will support Brylee’s undeniable passion for social change and will be held at the perfect setting – New Zealand’s parliament buildings.
“My current goal is to gain a career with a Ministry or in Government, making change and working on current policies would be an incredible experience that I would love to be a part of” she says.
“I simply want to jump headfirst into everything that the Forum has on offer and get as much out of it as I possibly can within those three days.” Comer adds.
She credits her success to date to Dan Allan-Gordon, Graeme Dingle Foundation Western Bay of Plenty Manager, who has been a significant role model in her life.
“He was the one that really pushed me to achieve more and inspired me to get more involved within the Graeme Dingle Foundation, leading to more and more doors opening for me that I could never have imagined before. Dan puts so much effort into everything he does. I met Dan in year 10 through Project K and I am still in contact with him now. He is so passionate and wants to see students grow and I think that is truly inspiring”
When asked what message she would tell young people unsure of the future and wanting to achieve great things, she said
“Take every single opportunity that comes your way, you have no idea where it could lead to, something that seems so small in the beginning could end up changing your life for the better!”