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West-side youth to speak at international YouthSpark Summit

28 April 2014

“West-side” youth selected to speak at international YouthSpark Summit

14-year old Charles Monaghan, a member of MPHS Studio, which is affiliated to the Pacific wide High Tech Youth Network, will travel to the YouthSpark Summit in Redmond, Washington State, USA, courtesy of Microsoft today.

As one of many talented youth involved with the MPHS Studio – operated by McLaren Park & Henderson South Community Trust – Charles was recognised by Microsoft for his work in computer science and graphics design.

Charles recently won the Sweet Streets Logo competition run by Keep Waitakere Beautiful.

Charles would like to express to others that “technology and particularly computer science related technologies are very important to our lives.”

Charles says, “getting to travel to the YouthSpark Summit is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am going to make the most of the experience.”

Monaghan will attend the Summit from 30th April to 2nd May to speak on a panel about the importance of technology to young people and how it links with culture.

Belinda Gorman, Citizenship & Community Affairs Manager for Microsoft New Zealand says that the tech giant is firmly committed to closing the “opportunity divide” as challenges facing youth around the world persist.

“Closing the gap between those who have the access, skills, and opportunities and those who do not - is one of the most important actions we can take,” she says.

“We strongly believe technology will help bridge this divide and are delighted Charles will represent the High Tech Youth Network at our global summit.”

Also travelling from High Tech Youth Network, will be High Tech Youth Network’s CEO, Mike Usmar and MPHS Studio Educator, Jonathan Hickman.

High Tech Youth Network considers Microsoft as one of their most valued partners.

About Microsoft YouthSpark
To address this urgent need of young people globally, Microsoft has committed to creating opportunities for 300 million youth by 2015. Launched in September 2012, Microsoft YouthSpark partners with governments, non-profit organisations and businesses around the world to empower youth to imagine and realise their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

High Tech Youth Network
HTYN empowers young people through the use of digital creative technology to build a thriving 21st century learning community. Each studio offers an out of school learning environment, which combines elements of an artist’s studio, inventor’s workshop, TV newsroom, architect’s studio, robotics lab and music studio. The goal is to ignite in youth their own interests and passion and empower them to become more capable, creative, and confident lifelong learners.

For more information, visit


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