Excellence highlighted at Dingle awards

Excellence Awards Live Stream Photo

“Young people have to have hope in the future, at the moment they’ve got a huge challenge.”

Those were the words spoken by Sir Graeme Dingle at the recent Graeme Dingle Foundation Excellence Awards.

The event boasts a 21-year history and is known for celebrating the next generation of successful young Kiwis for all they’ve achieved and overcome.

Auckland schools and students featured in the awards.

Among those celebrated was Isaaka Teao who was selected as the winner of this year’s MYND Youth Achievement Award.

MYND is a programme that focuses on getting youth offenders back on track.

Rangatahi are equipped with the knowledge and ability to make better decisions as they move forward in life. Through his time in MYND, Isaaka has created a support network, implemented vital life changes, created a Personal Development Plan and built strong, lasting relationships.

Also winners in the ceremony were students from the Foundation’s Kiwi Tahi programme, CJ Edwards and Rico Bell. Kiwi Tahi is a life-skill development programme, aimed at reducing the likelihood young people going down the path of delinquency and offending behaviour.

The 26-week programme incorporates a mentoring and life skill component, adventure activities and social work.

Edwards and Bell have both achieved significant results in Kiwi Tahi including becoming positively engaged with school improving interpersonal skills, increasing resilience and confidence, and incorporating community connection.

Also amongst the winners were Haneen Amin and Nazia Wadan, both who have been recognised for their ‘Outstanding Contribution from a Peer Mentor’ Award in the Foundation’s Stars Programme.

Stars supports year nine students through community challenges and camps, activity days and consistent mentoring by trained senior school students.

In her acceptance speech Hanneen Amin, of Kelston Girls College, writes of her journey with Stars as a Peer Mentor. “It helps students become more aware of life situations and what they can do to overcome them.”

Nazia Wadan, also, from Kelston Girls College, commented on her positive experience with the Stars programme: “In my opinion, I would like to recommend Stars to every student out there as it has truly brought a big change in me, it’s a great opportunity to take and learn something new, it’s never too late to experience new things.”

Teina Anderson, a year 10 student of Glenfield College was announced as the winner of this years’ Project K Excellence Award.

Project K enables year 10 students to experience a wilderness adventure and be paired with a trained adult for continued one on one mentoring and guidance across a 12-month period. Many participants see long term achievements following their Project K Journey and remain close with their mentors throughout life.

All the award winners were acknowledged at a live stream hosted by Stuff journalist Carol Hirschfeld and Kiwi Can Coordinator Brittney Falanitama – the ceremony had to be online because of Covid restrictions.

Foundation CEO, Jenny Stiles, acknowledged how special the event was for the Foundation’s students.

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