The Discovery Foundation gave Joshua Campbell the confidence to live life to the fullest. Now, the Auckland 18-year-old is repaying the favour, signing on to the leadership team for the teenage development charity's expansion into Christchurch in October.
The foundation has operated in New Zealand for 22 years and offers seven-day camps on basic life skills to young Kiwis who have experienced bullying, unsettled home lives or who struggle with communication and confidence.
"My Mum and Dad were going down the wrong path. So my grandparents took full custody of me at the age of 7," Campbell said.
"My life has changed a lot since being part of the Discovery programme. My communication and confidence has improved. The first time I went I didn't want to go, I didn't want to be around people, I wanted to be by myself.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"But as soon as I'd been it changed my mind. I really am looking forward to being a team leader and helping people."
The Christchurch programme has been helped by a $30,000 grant from airline Jetstar.
Discovery chairman Mike Johnston said because of the earthquakes, the area's youth continue to face challenges very different to those around the rest of the country.
"I think the teenagers there are somewhat forgotten about. They've been through some unique experiences and still face some pretty unique hurdles," Johnston said.
Grant Kerr, head of Jetstar NZ, said the programme offered a positive, supportive learning environment.
Since its 2012 inception, Jetstar's Flying Start scheme has awarded $360,000 in travel and cash grants to 12 New Zealand not-for-profit organisations.