It's always inspiring to see people overcome adversity and forge a successful path in life.

We don't all start life on an equal footing. A child can be born into poverty or great wealth. They may have a stable home life or a dysfunctional one, and this can have a big impact later on.

It is always pleasing to see people who beat the odds and, through grit and determination, carve their own path.

It's even more pleasing when a third party offers to help by providing opportunities and support.


Such an example can be seen in the story on Mokoia Kaea-Rata which ran in the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend.

Read more: Mentor scheme turns into job for Mokoia

After a difficult childhood and flunking out of high school, Mokoia Kaea-Rata is on the first step of her career ladder thanks to a Bay mentor programme that is changing young people's lives.

The 20-year-old began doing odd jobs at Comvita in Te Puke while on a work experience project through Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust - before securing fulltime work.

After making a big impression with her positive attitude, she was seconded into the quick pick and pack department.

Comvita chief corporate services officer Patrick Brus says he is a great believer that anyone can do anything given the right set of circumstances with the right people and some support, while Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust social services director Tommy Wilson says the youth mentoring programme is designed to "create champions".

Mr Wilson credits the organisation's patron Paul Adams of Carrus who had networked with other chief executives to secure work experience placements.

To date four fulltime jobs and one training course have evolved from the partnerships with DMS, Carrus, Rowe Motors, Comvita and Higgins.

He says he is looking for more businesses to get on board with the programme.

Hopefully other Bay businesses will recognise the value of this project.