When Hamish Ward began his mentoring relationship with Kayne Kohu as part of the Foundation for Youth Development, Project K Programme he was uncertain about how it would all work out.
Ten months later, the pair has developed a strong relationship which has exceeded expectations.
FYD's Project K programme is delivered in Fraser High School and is a 14-month programme designed to encourage 14- and 15-year-olds to build self-confidence and reach their potential. Twelve months of the programme involves a mentoring relationship with a volunteer adult in the community.
Hamish, a father of three boys and an area manager for Westpac, says he got more out of the relationship personally than he expected.
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"The mentoring experience with Kayne has become a true highlight of the past year for me, not only have we developed a great friendship, we have learnt a lot from each other too," says Hamish. "It has given me a greater understanding of the challenges facing youth today - different to what I experienced growing up."
Hamish's motivation for becoming a mentor with Project K stems from the guidance he received as a youngster.
"I was fortunate as a teenager to have lots of different people provide support and guidance; so I got involved with Project K as a mentor to offer another young person the same support. I've seen some great changes in Kayne, especially in his confidence and he is starting to realise that he can make a difference in his own life, take control and make good decisions."
FYD Waikato is recruiting for volunteer mentors. For more information call Kerry Ann on 839 7058 or visit www.fydwaikato.org.nz.