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Youth Week 08­ the challenge to relate

Media release - for immediate release.

Youth Week 08 ­ the challenge to relate

In Youth Week 2008 youth advocates challenge the public to take the time to care for and support young people.

Youth Week 2008 spokesperson Sarah Helm said: "You probably had a couple of key adult figures in your life that really inspired, helped, and supported you. It is time to return the favour for today's youth."

"If we want young people to do well, it is up to us to get involved in their lives in a supportive way ­ as parents, caregivers, extended family, neighbours, community members, and professionals," she said.

"There are many amazing stories of young people revealing that relationships with adults enable them to reach their full potential."

Nineteen-year-old mother Karli Walker from Hutt Valley, Wellington said: "People who have changed me and my son's life are the staff and students at the Hutt Valley Teen Parent Unit. They offer teen parents the chance to regain their education with the support of knowing that the staff and students are right there helping and guiding you along."

Regan Murphy, 11, from Winton, Southland said: "My dad is important to me because he taught me so much, looked after me and also always tells me to keep trying. You probably haven't heard of my dad or even know him but I know him and he is my amazing, awesome, great role model."

Twenty-three-year-old Helen Fletcher who has a physical disability said an opportunity to work has provided her with a new sense of confidence. "I went for a job as a peer support worker at a new youth service that was opening up. During the interview process I chatted with the manager of the service, Simone Piatti [Š] I was surprised when I got the job and was worried I might lose it. I quickly found that working with Simone was wonderful. She looked at the things I did well in the job and helped and encouraged me with the things I found difficult," Helen said.

Youth Week runs from 26 May - 1 June 2008, and is coordinated by New Zealand Aotearoa Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD).


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