A group of Northland students will be stepping out of their comfort zone and doing things they've never experienced before during a "life changing" trip to Tongariro National Park.
Tomorrow 40 Year 8 and 9 "dreamers" - students from Te Kura o Ōtangarei and Tikipunga High School who are mentored and supported throughout their education by I Have a Dream Charitable Trust navigators - will head to Hillary Outdoors Education Centre.
Piripi Burt, an I Have a Dream navigator, said the trip could be life changing for the students.
"I'm looking forward to connecting with the kids and seeing them do things that they've probably never experienced before, getting them out of their comfort zone, challenging them, and enjoying the beautiful things our country has to offer," he said
"I've had people say if it wasn't for their trip and going down there and experiencing that, they wouldn't be where they are now. It's life changing."
The opportunity to go on the trip is a result of $10,000 from Foundation North - via Hillary Outdoors; $10,000 from the I Have a Dream Charitable Trust - which provides Tikipunga High School, Tikipunga Primary School, Te Kura o Ōtangarei and Totara Grove School with navigators to provide consistent academic oversight, advocacy and support; and $10,000 raised by the students through sausage sizzles and events like a magnolia garden tour.
Navigator Daisy Rogers said the trip was a great opportunity .
"Some of them have never been past Auckland. So to get them out of Whangārei and past Auckland is a great opportunity."
Joby Hopa, I Have a Dream community engagement manager, said the students would be taking part in a range of outdoor activities which could range from abseiling, to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
"It's something we want to do on an annual basis so all the kids going through the I Have a Dream kaupapa might experience this. So it's important to build a really solid relationship with the place and have these kids come back and promote it for others that might want the opportunity."
The team will be leaving Whangārei tomorrow and will return on Friday.