Image: Pheylan Rangitoheriri (left) and Brooke Jansen (right)
Source: South Waikato News
A talented Tokoroa duo have been recognised in national awards. TheGraeme Dingle Foundation has held its 22nd Annual Excellence Awards.
Graeme Dingle Foundation chief executive Jenny Stiles says the National Student Excellence Awards is an opportunity to bring staff, inspirational mentors, sponsors and the community together in celebration of these amazing young people.
“The Foundation’s vision is that ‘Aotearoa New Zealand will be the best place in the world to be young’ and this event celebrates young people who have made great strides in paving a positive life trajectory.”
Excellence Award categories include ‘Outstanding Programme Co-ordinator’ and ‘Outstanding Contribution from a Peer Mentor’ awards which this year, both went to individuals working within Tokoroa High School.
Pheylan Rangitoheriri who runs the Stars Programme took away the award for Outstanding Programme Co-ordinator and is both passionate and proud to be working with rangatahi.
“The stars program has played a massive part in my life, and I couldn’t be any prouder to be the program co-ordinator at the High School I once attended. “Tokoroa High School has a special place in my heart, and I love [running] the stars program there,” said Rangitoheriri.
Also recognised was Brooke Jansen, who is a student Peer Mentor in the Stars programme. A Stars Peer Mentor’s role is to build relationships with younger students in the school and provide a warm and encouraging space so that they can find their way, grow, set and stick to goals. Jansen said she’s learnt an abundance of lessons from being an active part of the Stars programme.
“As a mentor I have learned that having patience and being adaptable is the best way to work and connect with not only the year nines but also my fellow mentors. Developing a bond from the get-go was a priority for all of us and creating that unique affiliation early on allowed the relationship between us mentors and the year nines to not only have a good start, but also to flourish over the year.”
And, she had wise words to share with others in the room at the award ceremony.
“Many speak of opportunities, most of us know the saying when one door closes, another one opens, but rarely do people talk about ‘halfway’, the transition. “The in-between where you are, and where you’re going. The halfway doesn’t have to be a scary, endless confusion it can be a space of massive transformation, great memories, and peace,” said Jansen.