For 10 young students from six Napier high schools it was an evening at which their determination and desire to achieve was celebrated — and there was plenty to celebrate, from music and sport through to arts and aviation.
"It is always such an inspirational evening," a Spirit of Napier Lions Club Young Achievers Awards sub-committee spokesperson said.
The annual event was staged recently at the Napier Conference Centre and was the ninth to be put together by the Spirit of Napier Lions.
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The organisers said, as it had been every year, it was "mind-blowing" to listen to the students giving their speeches to the large audience of invited guests, parents, principals and deputy principals from their schools.
"They achieve so well in their chosen activities but also in so many other fields."
The nine students who spoke (there were 10 on the list but Rachel Lockwood, from Taradale High School, was away on a school trip overseas) all touched on the great support they had received from their schools and their families.
"They all gave wonderful speeches when they were awarded with their gifts and it was so nice to see something so positive from our young ones. It was a lovely evening."
The selection is based on Year 13 students who are deemed to be "excellent role models" and have achieved beyond expectation in one or more fields of endeavour — academic and non-academic.
From Napier Boys' High School, prefect and house leader Ben Allan has made a big splash on the athletics front. His biggest track achievement has been his selection for the New Zealand U20 relay squad.
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He has also played rugby and basketball. On the musical side, he plays the drums, which led him into the Chamber of Music competition.
His schoolmate Brayden Hill is also a prefect, and has also achieved high levels of success in sport and academics.
He has represented Central Districts in U17 cricket and has been captain of the school's cricket team. While playing for the Taradale Cricket Club, he has won the Junior Cricketer of the Year title three times.
He has also sparked in football and currently plays for the school side.
Danica Bryant, from Napier Girl's High School, is a singer-songwriter who has been playing music since she was 7, and performing since she was 12. She has appeared at Christmas in the Park and has opening for acts like Foreigner, Paul Ubana Jones and Stretch.
She won APRA's National Best Lyrics Award last year and has won the Smokefree Rockquest regional lyric award three years running.
On the academic front, she has been awarded two scholarships for history and English.
Also from Napier Girls', Zarah Otto is head girl and Pasifika prefect and has achieved several NCEA levels with excellence. She tutors students in mathematics and English.
She is also a junior sailing instructor and has achieved regional, national and international success in 420 Secondary School Team Sailing competitions.
Her other pursuits are a wide number of sports, guitar and piano, singing, Cook Island dancing and community service.
Taradale High School also had two students on the awards roll of honour.
Rachel Lockwood is head of student wellbeing and attended a Young Women in Leadership programme last year.
She is a Youth Press Gallery member for Youth Parliament and has participated in the Hawke's Bay Arts Festival Ambassadors programme. She co-founded and runs the school's Rainbow Club/QSA at the school.
She also spoke on behalf of students at the PPTA Napier teachers rally.
Sam Williams is deputy head boy at Taradale High and has held a series of school leadership roles as well as making a splash on the sports front.
As well as playing, coaching and refereeing volleyball at the school, he has also been a North Island U20 representative, as well as taking a place as a Hawke's Bay U18 hockey rep.
Sam has also helped organise the Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools Relay For Life, involving 12 schools and more than 400 students, which raised more than $2000 for the HB Cancer Society.
On the music front, he plays saxophone and is part of the school's jazz band and orchestra.
Alexandra Thompson is a house captain at Sacred Heart College and loves music, rugby and anything involving aircraft.
She has been involved in gliding for five years and at 12 became the youngest in Australasia to go solo. She gained her Qualified Glider Pilot licence at 14 and was selected to participate in the RNZAF Schools to Skies programme. Last year, alongside her co-pilot, she became the Youngest National Champion for gliding.
She has also excelled in playing touch rugby and rugby.
Musically, she has been part of the school's choirs and chamber music groups.
Lee Rangitaawa is head boy at William Colenso College. Sport has been a major part of his time there; he has been involved with rugby, basketball, football and hockey.
He has become a qualified referee in several sports and last year became a qualified Hawke's Bay Basketball referee, and was chosen to be on the Hawke's Bay Student Sports Council.
His accomplishments resulted in him being awarded the Sir Peter Blake Young Leaders Award.
Head girl at William Colenso College, Cassiopeia Harrison, has gained excellence endorsements in NCEA levels 1 and 2 and excellence in Te Reo Māori levels 1 and 2.
Last year she took part in the U3A Speech Competition and placed second, but won the People's Choice award.
She is now considering doing a Bachelor of Arts in Māori Development at Auckland University of Technology and wants to be involved in the business world, and in particular at the forefront of Māori business development.
Tyler Taurima-Brown is head girl at Tamatea High School and is chairperson for the Napier Youth Council.
Last year she facilitated at the International Indigenous Youth Employment Symposium and also picked up the Kaitataki Wahine Award and the Cultural Award - Manukura Wahine.
She has always been community orientated and has developed great leadership experience and has been responsible for event planning, management, marketing and hosting of pop-up events throughout the Bay.
A member of the awards event organising committee said on the occasion: they are "remarkable young people we can all be proud of".
For next year's event, Lions is considering organising a gathering of previous young achievers.
"For them to tell us what they have now gone on and done."