This week’s Newsmaker is Hyesu Yang, a student at John Paul College. She was the winner of the Youth Spirit category at the 2016 Trustpower Rotorua Lakes Community Awards this week.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I'm just a regular student and try to find time to do extra-curricular activities. I have one big sister and I'm 17, turning 18 soon. I moved here from Korea when I was 7 years old.

What groups are you involved in at school and in the community?

We have a roster for the Fulfil Van and Sunset Primary and Malfroy Primary Breakfast Programme. The St John's van gives out food to the marginalised areas of Rotorua and the programme gives breakfast to children. It's quite simple but nice to do, and they all have really good manners. I just try to get involved with extra events that come up, such as the Heart Foundation collection. I'm a member of the Rotorua Youth Council and the Rotorua Youth Voice, so I get a lot of notice for all the events.

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What prompted you to become so involved in voluntary groups?

It just feels really good to give back to the community and I just like getting involved in lots of extra-curricular activities.

How did you feel when you won the award?

I actually didn't expect it. I wasn't expecting to be nominated. I was quite surprised when they called my name.

What is the best part about doing volunteer work?

I would say it's meeting new people and making new friends. There's always so many giving and generous people who come to these events, and they are lovely to talk to.

What do you love most about Rotorua?

Since I was born in Korea I was used to living in a big city. Rotorua's really nice, it's such a small area and everyone knows everyone. If you go to all these different events you'll most likely see the same people.