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Wellington Student Celebrated at Graeme Dingle Awards


Thursday, 19th October 2017

Wellington Student Celebrated at Graeme Dingle
Foundation Excellence Awards

One of Wellington’s most inspiring young Kiwis, 16-year-old Upper Hutt resident Sorcha Stempa, has been honoured for her outstanding courage as part of the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s 2017 Excellence Awards, held at Government House in Auckland last night.

For the 200 in attendance, the evening was an opportunity to hear, first-hand, the experiences of a number of graduates who have taken part in the Foundation’s transformational journey, and the positive impact it has had on their lives.

Sacred Heart College student Sorcha Stempa, was awarded a Project K Excellence Award for her outstanding commitment to the programme and the changes she has made in her life as a result.

Project K is a 14-month programme designed for Year 10 students. It involves three parts and focuses on building confidence, teaching life skills, promoting good health and encouraging a positive attitude.

Sorcha says, “As a result of Project K I have achieved a great lifelong friend, I have learnt self-respect and that I’m good enough as myself, I don’t have to over try to succeed or change anything about who I am.

“The opportunity to participate in Project K, meant for me the opportunity to make something of myself, an opportunity to go places and actually be somebody. This award means a lot to me, it’s recognition of everything I have achieved and nothing could be more humbling,” concluded Sorcha.

The evening acknowledged the significant accomplishments of 15 successful young Kiwis, many who have climbed big mountains to build resilience and self-belief in their lives. It was also a celebration of more than 24,000 students, their mentors, leaders and volunteers who have been involved in the Foundation’s various youth development programmes over the previous 12 months – including Kiwi Can, Stars, Career Navigator and Project K.

The Foundation’s namesake, mountaineer and outdoor education pioneer, Sir Graeme Dingle, says the Awards are an important opportunity to showcase a select number of inspiring Kiwi kids who exemplify the goals and values of the Foundation.

“Our goal, is to transform young lives forever, with a vision that all young people can be confident contributors to New Zealand. By the year 2025, our mission is to have helped 50,000 young people in our programmes each year. It’s nights like this which serve as a strong reminder that investing in our country’s young people is the best investment New Zealand can make.

“The awards highlight not only some of the circumstances and harsh realities a lot of our Kiwi kids face, but most importantly, celebrates their courage and resilience to be able to come out the other side too.

“It’s these young people who will serve as role models to those in similar situations, helping us to challenge others to change their perceptions of what they think they can achieve. And for that, they absolutely deserve recognition. We could not be more proud of each and every one of our winners,” concludes Sir Graeme.

The Graeme Dingle Excellence Awards honour and celebrate outstanding young New Zealanders across all of the Foundations programmes throughout New Zealand and has been running for almost two decades.

The full list of 2017 Award Recipients is as follows:

- Sir Edmund Hillary Youth Achievement Award
For a Graeme Dingle Foundation Project K graduate who has gone on to achieve excellence.
o Jessica Collins – Former Otumaetai College student, Bay of Plenty

Outstanding Kiwi Can School Award supported by Oji Fibre Solutions
For running an impeccable Kiwi Can programme and producing wonderful results
o Manurewa West Primary, Auckland
o Kaeo School, Whangaroa

- Kiwi Can Outstanding Leader Team Award supported by NZ Steel
Presented to Kiwi Can leaders to recognise their wonderful contributions, making a difference to the lives of young people.
o Raynard Haggie & Andrea Thomas, Huntley West School, Waikato

- Outstanding Contribution from a Stars Peer Mentor Awards supported by Supre
To acknowledge the great contribution of Stars Peer Mentors who are making a significant difference in the lives of juniors in their school
o Haydon Dickie, Hornby High School, Canterbury
o Lahaina Solomon, Tokoroa High School, Waikato

- Career Navigator Outstanding Achievement Award supported by Fletcher Building
To acknowledge outstanding progress made by a graduate of the Career Navigator programme.
o Kaha Head, Fraser High School, Hamilton

- Project K Excellence Awards supported by Perpetual Guardian and Stride
For graduates of Project K who have shown outstanding commitment to the programme, and made significant changes in their lives.
o Yashveer Kumar, One Tree Hill College, Auckland
o Kaylen Engu Key, Tangaroa College, Auckland
o Ofa Lavemaau, Northcote College, Auckland
o Amie Marchant, Otumoetai College, Bay of Plenty
o Carta Buckley, Mt Maunganui College, Bay of Plenty
o Sorcha Stempa, Sacred Heart College, Wellington
o Emma Jeffery, Hornby High School, Canterbury

- Outstanding Volunteer Award supported by THL
Presented to a volunteer in the wider Graeme Dingle Foundation community who demonstrates their commitment and dedication to the Foundation’s mission and values, through their work to support the Foundation’s programmes.
o Byran Theunisen, Project K Mentor, Auckland

ENDS

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