Aquinas student recognised with Youth Spirit Award

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Adam van Leeuwen.
Adam van Leeuwen.

An impressive student from Aquinas College with a record of service to school and community was tonight recognised through the Trustpower Youth Community Spirit Award.

Adam van Leeuwen was named the winner of the award which was run in conjunction with the Trustpower Tauranga Community Awards and was jointly run by Trustpower and the Tauranga City Council.

The runner-up for this Award was Emily McCarthy from Tauranga Girls' College and the finalists were Spencer Voorend from Bethlehem College, Deborah Paine from Otumoetai College, Paula Smith from Mount Maunganui College and Ben Richards from Tauranga Boys' College.

Local high schools were asked to recommend one student to be considered for this award, which celebrated the work young people did to enrich their community.

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Jess Somerville said the Trustpower Youth Community Spirit Award was a great opportunity for a generous student with a big heart to be formally acknowledged and congratulated.

"Adam is the type of student who on top of a busy academic programme in any given week will help run a school assembly, spend time coaching a junior hockey team as well as a few nights at his local St John mentoring the younger cadets. It's a big commitment for a year 13 student with aspirations to pursue a career as an Intensive Care Paramedic, but one that Adam gets a huge amount of joy from.

"At his school he is the student leader for Arts and Cultural activities and the lead student in the ICT/Multimedia team; a responsibility that involves planning full assemblies, filming special events whilst taking time to teach the younger members.

"On top of this he has represented the school for many years as a hockey player, volunteers as an umpire and the last 2 seasons he has coached a team also. Adam also took part in his schools Fiji Service Trip where they built a house for a family in need.

"Adam is an accomplished St John volunteer, and after 10 years of service and multiple awards recognising his commitment to this organisation, he has recently been made a Leader. In this position he mentors younger members to challenge themselves, teaches them life skills and helps them to become positive members of society.

"As a coach, dedicated St John volunteer and humble, unassuming leader he is a very deserving winner of this Award and it is an absolute pleasure to highlight some of his achievements here tonight," says Miss Somerville.

For winning the award, Adam would receive a trophy, framed certificate and $500 prize money, with $250 being given to a community group or organisation of his choice.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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