Twenty migrant and refugee families settling in Hamilton have been gifted bicycles by participants of the University of Waikato's Management School (WMS) leadership programme.
The programme participants built the 20 bicycles themselves as part of a team working exercise at the WMS Leadership Academy summit day two weeks ago.
Building the bikes was meant to teach the almost 80 Year 13 students from across Waikato and Bay of Plenty participating in WMS the importance of working together.
The completed bikes were checked over by Torpedo7 mechanics to ensure they were roadworthy and ready to be presented to families at the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust.
A family of 10 from Congo who arrived in New Zealand in February after spending 17 years in a Rwanda refugee camp said the bikes will help Ange, 10, and Joshua, 8, get to and from school.
Their brother Roger, 20, said they didn't have bikes in Congo, "so we're thankful and incredibly grateful for the bikes given to us."
The bikes were donated by The Perry Charitable Trust and heavily discounted by Torpedo7.
WMS launched the Leadership Academy pilot in term one this year to support ambitious students to become stronger leaders.
St Peter's Cambridge student Julie Brouwer said the programme made her realise that leaders don't always have to be in a leadership position.
She was turned down as a prefect which was "incredibly upsetting", but after being nominated by her school for the Leadership Academy she has become a leader in her own way.
"I want to be a leader that motivates and inspires people. I used to think leaders had to be direct and sometimes mean, but you can still treat people as people and you don't need to be in a hierarchical position to be respected."
For Charla Dougal of Mount Maunganui College, leadership became more than just a popularity contest.
"Take being a prefect, for example. You wear the jacket, you face the school and model what you think a leader is. But looking at it now, it's way more than that. It's about the little questions you ask. It's what you do for yourself and the conversations you have with different people," she says.
At the WMS summit day, the students also heard about leading with compassion and empathy from guest speakers Mike King (mental health activist, Gumboot Friday, I am Hope) and Richie Barnett (ex-Kiwi rugby league captain).
Mike King encouraged students with a passion to jump feet first.
"Don't test the water with one toe. If you're passionate about something and you have an idea of what you want to do, then just jump in."
Richie Barnett spoke about how his competitive attitude got him through one of the toughest moments in his professional career.
He had a full facial reconstruction following a smashing head clash in 2000 where he suffered breaks to both cheekbones and his nose.
"I was told my career was over but after seven months I got back on the field. No matter what you're going through, it's how you deal with it."
Stories like these solidified Cambridge High School head girl Anna Smith's dream of becoming a surgeon.
"Caring for people is so important to me. I wish there were more people here to hear Mike and Richie speak so they could benefit from it too," she says.
Throughout the programme, the students also receive special training and complete a first-year university paper (Introduction to Leadership Communication) which means they will already have one paper if they start university.
The programme will conclude with a final hub day in Tauranga in September.