A Whanganui teen walked away with a top award at a recent life skills programme run alongside the police and defence force earlier this month.
Sixteen-year-old Whanganui High School student Cyprus Hill was awarded the Overall Excellence Award at the Blue Light Life Skills programme held at Taupō between May 31 and June 4.
The programme was run by Blue Light New Zealand, a not-for-profit charity that works alongside police to help disadvantaged young people find direction, fun and a sense of belonging in their communities.
The programme's focus is to provide young people between the ages of 14 and 17 critical life skills, in an effort to develop self-control and teamwork skills to enable teens to be successful at home, in school and in employment.
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The programme was held in partnership with NZ Defence Force, with adventure-based experiential learning a key part of the programme.
Blue Light life skills coordinator Saagar Deo said Hill was a strong example of the attributes the programme looks to foster.
"Cyprus was awarded the Overall Excellence Award through demonstrating the whakataukī of maturity, respect, intuition and through building individual and group mana," Deo said.
The camps are run up to twelve times annually by Blue Light across a number of locations including Auckland, the Central North Island and Burnham.
According to Blue Light, the program works to decrease the risk of youth offending and through access to positive role models, time with other young people and the opportunity to see the world outside their current environment.