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Awards recognise outstanding young people

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Associate Minister of Housing

3 December 2013 Media Statement

Awards recognise outstanding young people

A group of 20 young people in care will be recognised today at the William Wallace Awards, jointly hosted by Prime Minister John Key and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

The Awards are an annual event celebrating young people in foster care who’ve excelled across a range of areas, including academically, in music, art, and sport, and as role models in their communities.

“These young people have all overcome extremely difficult starts to life, and have shown huge determination and courage to get to where they are now,” Mrs Bennett said.

The Awards take the form of scholarships up to $3000, and enable the winners to develop their skills through study or training, or take part in leadership courses like Outward Bound.

“A huge part of their success is also down to caregivers and social workers, who have all done an incredible job supporting and encouraging the young people we’re celebrating today.”

Matiu came into State care at the age of eight. He’s now seventeen and plans to join the Navy. Described as a great Ambassador for Māori, he’s learning Te Reo Maori, is an active member of Kapa Haka and mentors students.

“This young man is a role model and an outstanding example to other young people and like all the recipients today, his award is well deserved.”

“Each of our award winners is a huge inspiration, not only in their schools and communities but also for other young people in care who’ve faced similar hardships so early in their lives.”

“They’re proof that resilience, commitment and hard work can lead to success and I know each of them has a very bright and hopeful future ahead.”


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