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Nineteen extraordinary young people were recognised for their outstanding achievements at the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) Excellence Awards last night.
Award winners travelled from all over New Zealand to gather at Government House for the premier youth awards, a highlight on the FYD calendar.
The FYD Excellence Awards, sponsored by DNZ Property Fund, acknowledge the accomplishments of outstanding young people, many of whom have made massive changes to both their outlook and direction in life says FYD’s CEO Marion Short.
“These kids have been on a life-changing and challenging journey, they have learnt so much, including new skills that will serve them well in the future,” she says. “We are so proud of them. Their progress and achievements are examples of the difference FYD’s programmes can make to the lives of our young people.”
Several of the award winners made inspiring and moving speeches to the audience last night about how their lives had changed through their participation in FYD programmes.
“All of our winners spoke with wisdom beyond their years, their stories were truly inspirational,” says Short.
Awards were presented by His Excellency The Governor-General, Lieutenant General The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and special guests, Minister for Social Development and Youth Affairs Paula Bennett, FYD co- founders Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson, Sarah Hillary, Stephen Boxer and Dame Catherine Tizard.
In total, 20 awards were presented including:
· Nine Project K Student Excellence Awards, sponsored by NZ Steel, for graduates of Project K who have shown the most outstanding commitment to the Project K programme and made significant changes in their lives.
· Three Stars Outstanding Contribution from a Peer Mentor Awards, sponsored by Bathurst Resources Limited, to acknowledge the great contribution of Stars Peer Mentors who are young people making a significant difference in the lives of others.
· The Sir Edmund Hillary Youth Achievement Award for an FYD alumni who has gone on to achieve excellence.
· Three Kiwi Can Outstanding Leader Awards presented to Kiwi Can leaders to recognise the wonderful contributions of the leaders who are making a difference in the lives of young people.
· Two MYND Youth Achievement Awards acknowledging outstanding progress made by graduates of the MYND programme.
· The Dame Pat Evison Scholarship, for an FYD student with outstanding potential in creative arts.
· A new award for 2012, the Outstanding Kiwi Can School Award to a school running an impeccable Kiwi Can programme and seeing wonderful results.
2012 Award Recipients:
Project K Student Excellence Awards: Samantha Randell (North Shore), Caleb Kabir (Hawkes Bay), Sean Otter (Wellington), Caitlin Bould (Waitakere), Jain Kolone (Auckland Central), Linda Matau (Manukau), Caitlyn Williamson (Bay of Plenty), Eilish Black (Marlborough), Te Tawhero Williams (Waikato).
Stars Outstanding Contribution from a Peer Mentor Awards: Hohaia Hakaraia (Waitakere), Hitro Ale (Waikato), Christine Philipo (Wellington).
Sir Edmund Hillary Youth Achievement Award: Dominic Bird (Hawkes Bay).
Kiwi Can Outstanding Leader Awards: Ernie Delamere (Manurewa), Maine Nooroa (Waikato), Rowan Ellis (Bay of Plenty).
MYND Youth Achievement Awards: Alex MacKay (Manukau) and Sepeti Tatau (Manukau).
Dame Pat Evison Scholarship: Jain Kolone (Auckland Central).
Outstanding Kiwi Can School: Papatoetoe West School (South Auckland)
Award winners spent the day together in Auckland yesterday and were involved in a range of activities including a lunch at Deloitte to get to know staff and a St Johns first aid training course.
FYD currently helps approximately 18,000 young New Zealanders each year through its proven programmes - Kiwi Can, Stars, Project K and MYND. All of the programmes build on young people’s talents through physical and mental challenges; developing core life skills and helping them achieve their potential in order to succeed in life.