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Youth mentoring charity expands

6th December 2017

Youth mentoring charity expands after demand reaches crescendo


Nesian Mystik musician Dave Atai leads CTOA programme expansion into Pt Chevalier

A charity that mentors disadvantaged youth has seen such demand for its services it has recently begun operating in the inner-city suburb of Pt Chevalier.

The Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa (CTOA) is a non-profit charitable trust which runs an all-inclusive development programme for young people who might otherwise fall through the gaps of traditional education. Via mentoring and training in music, film, photography, media and communication, the CTOA programme enables young people to rise above the cycles of poverty and abuse. It is free for the participants but the CTOA has to continually fund-raise to ensure that remains the case.

The Trust was established in 2012 by musician Marcus Powell (current member of City of Souls, previous member of Blacklistt and Blindspott) and was initially based in west Auckland, with facilities in Kelston and Henderson.

Successful outcomes and steady demand saw it expand to Otara in South Auckland, followed by the east Auckland suburb of Glen Innes. Recently, the Trust began operating from in its fifth location - The Point Youth Hub at the Pt Chevalier Community Centre.

In 2016, Powell says the Trust helped 480 young people not in education, employment or training (known as NEETs). “Each excluded young person, or NEET, costs our country $33,000 per year. And with so many disadvantaged youth, the total cost to the economy is $1.4 billion a year. Through our programme, we can re-engage one young person with education and training for just $4,000 per year. When you do the maths, it’s pretty obvious which option makes more economic sense,” says Powell.

These figures were revealed in a 2013 AUT study, ‘Estimating the Cost of Youth Disengagement in New Zealand’ by Gail Pacheco and Jessica Dye.

“By expanding into Pt Chev, we’ll be able to help empower and develop more young people and increase our reach in the community,” says Powell.

The partnership with the Pt Chevalier Community Centre will also allow participants the opportunity to attain Level 1 credits in Music, which will be assessed by the head of music at Western Springs College.

Dave Atai, well-known for his success with the band Nesian Mystik, is the key mentor for the CTOA programme at Pt Chev and has already worked with 10 young people in the short time the programme has been offered there.

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