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University graduate inspired by mum to help troubled youth

University graduate inspired by mum to help troubled youth

University of Auckland graduate Kim Spain has been dedicated to working with troubled youth for over 14 years, partly by her desire to help young people, but also thanks to the inspiration of her mother.

Kim has just graduated with a Master of Counselling with first class honours from the University’s Faculty of Education; the same course her mother Dianne did 11 years earlier.

Kim has counselled youth at Community Alcohol and Drug Services (CADS) and has also worked for Youthline, Youth Horizons Trust and as a youth leader at her church.

Now she wants to start her own private counselling practice and felt the MA would assist her as it has for her mother.

“I ended up doing the same programme because mum had done it and I knew she would be able to help and guide me as well.

“I’ve always looked up to my mum of course, and I’ve always had a passion for youth, so early on I was interested in doing counselling.”

Kim even had some of the same lecturers as her mother, including Dr Margaret Agee, and current Professional Teaching Fellow Sabrina Zoutenbier was her mother’s classmate.

The Mt Eden resident says helping youth turn their lives around is an inspiring profession.

“I guess knowing that it helps is what I like about it. Any interaction you have with a young person - even if you meet them just once – you know it’s going to help them in some way.

“It reduces the risk. I am passionate about connecting with young people and the challenges of engaging with them. I guess I am always hopeful that things will get better for them.”

Kim is particularly aware of the challenges today’s young people are growing up with.

“I was a teenager in the 1990s but we didn’t have the internet or any of that stuff like smartphones or social media. I just think life was a little simpler.”

As well as starting a private counselling practice, Kim is also considering starting a youth organisation.

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