Elijah’s Story

Kelston Boys’ High School student Elijah was on a mission to create a positive impact for his school and his community. Elijah became a Stars Peer Mentor and saw promising growth in his leadership abilities. A year later, Elijah won the ‘Stars – Outstanding Contribution from a Peer Mentor’ Award at our National Excellence Awards in 2023. Stepping out of his comfort zone, Elijah shares with us his journey on how he is on his way to “leaving the jersey better than how he found it”.    

“My name is Elijah Amituana’i. I am a Year 12 student at Kelston Boys’ High School, and like many of you here today, I have been given an award. This award was for excellence in peer mentoring.

At Kelston Boys’ we have a saying “Leave the jersey better than how you found it”. This saying implies that someone should leave the school in a better way than when they first arrived. I wanted to find a way in which I could do this not only effectively, but in a way which would help the boys I’m leaving the school with too.

Now of course I wasn’t the smartest, fastest or the strongest, I wanted to find a way to leave my own mark on the school, something that would make me stand out amongst my peers. I then discovered the Stars peer mentoring programme. From what I learnt about it, I saw that it could improve both my leadership skills and I believed it would teach me how to properly lead a group of people and allow me to help them grow as an individual. This would allow me to become a better leader and a better person.

This award showed me that I have been able to improve upon this skill greatly and that I can do this for my school and doing it justice. I am forever grateful for this award and the opportunities it has given me.

Finally, I’d like to thank Oliver Periata for his help throughout the peer mentoring sessions. These organisations and people have made the person you see here today.”

Elijah’s story has been adapted to highlight his journey with our Stars programme. To read his full speech at our National Excellence Awards in 2023, please click here.