The Power of Technology gives Kiwi Youth a Voice

Tuesday 16 July 2013, 2:29PM
By Porter Novelli New Zealand

More than 60 young New Zealanders from over 20 schools are set to uncover their talents, increase their technology skills and learn from some of New Zealand’s best technology brains, at this week’s High Tech Youth Meet Up.

Held at Studio 274 on the Campus of Kia Aroha College Manukau City, the weeklong event is designed for intermediate and high school students, many who would not have access to technology at home.

During this week they’ll visit more than ten technology companies and trainers such as Microsoft, HP, Oktobor Animation, Media Design School and Gameloft NZ, as well as decide on a digital project they’d like to create with the help of their peers, mentors and High Tech Studio staff.

Each project will address a social or environmental issue that each youth is passionate about. During previous gatherings teams addressed bullying, diabetes and poverty.

Kane Milne, Director of Learning at the High Tech Youth Network, says all young New Zealanders should feel empowered by technology; it should inspire them to be capable, creative and confident lifelong learners.

“Technology connects young people together and unleashes hidden talent. They can be expressed through creating digital projects like videos, music and animation right through to advanced gaming development,” says Milne.

A number of projects young people have developed at a High Tech Youth Studio have gone on to win awards, including being asked to produce digital media for companies and other not-for-profit groups.

Mele’ Lepa, a 17-year-old South Auckland student, from Kia Aroha College who has been selected to attend the event says, “this is about how we can use digital media to influence those around us – it gives us a voice.”

At the end of the live-in experience youth will present their projects at the global Adobe Youth Voices program, and in August two of the young people will travel to San Francisco to be part of a sponsored global Teen Summit that supports youth to be creators and producers of ‘media with a socially responsible message’.

“At a time where many experts are wading in on how to fix our kids and the communities they come from, this is an opportunity for the real experts, the young people themselves, to stand-up and have their say,” reports Milne.

About the High Tech Youth Network:

The High Tech Youth Network is a pioneering learning & development community of closely affiliated High Tech Youth Studios and people that support each other, young people and underserved communities across the Oceania region.

There are currently five High Tech Youth Studio's in New Zealand located in Auckland (2), Hamilton, Wellington, and Whakatane. By early 2015, there will be 12 HTY Studio's serving more than 35,000 members and their families.

The Network has four core objectives, these are:

  • To empower young people and communities to become more capable, creative, and confident lifelong learners.
  • To foster the growth of a learning community, through the sharing of ideas and support.
  • To encourage in young people the development of a positive identity and belief in their potential, through linking cultural knowledge’s and values with technology.
  • To champion, support, manage, research and implement services and projects that will further the above objectives within New Zealand and the Pacific