Two Western Bay of Plenty young people received prestigious awards at the 2012 Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) Excellence Awards at Government House in Auckland last night.
Caitlyn Williamson from Tauranga walked away with a Project K Student Excellence Award, having demonstrated exceptional progress throughout the Project K programme.
Caitlin was delighted to receive an award at the ceremony and explained how Project K had changed her life.
"Project K has helped me in life a lot," she says. "It's given me so much more confidence, made me more empathetic, and a better person all round."
Rowan, a 21-year-old Kiwi Can leader at Te Puke Intermediate and Maketu Primary School, was awarded an Outstanding Leader Award for his contribution to Kiwi Can.
Rowan was nominated for the award as a true asset to the Te Puke and Maketu communities and for always being a role model that Kiwi Can students respect and admire.
The FYD Excellence Awards, sponsored by DNZ Property Fund, are a highlight on the FYD calendar, and acknowledge the accomplishments of outstanding young people, many of whom have made massive changes to both their outlook and their lives says FYD 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," says Short.
"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."
The FYD Excellence Awards were held at Government House in Auckland with FYD Patron, His Excellency The Governor-General, Lieutenant General The Right Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and 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 presenting awards.
In total, 20 awards were presented to winners from around the country, 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 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 leaders who are making a difference in the lives of young people.
Two MYND Youth Achievement Awards to acknowledge outstanding progress made by graduates of the MYND programme.
The Dame Pat Evison Scholarship, recognising a FYD student with outstanding potential in creative arts.
A new award for 2012, the Outstanding Kiwi Can School award to a school from around New Zealand running an impeccable Kiwi Can programme and producing wonderful results.
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 FYD 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.