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Jazz Thornton Overcomes Her Fear Of Heights For Youth Week

Youth advocate Jazz Thornton is encouraging young Kiwis to live more and fear less this Youth Week (May 20 – 26), by facing her own fear of heights.

The 2021 Young New Zealander of the Year is the latest well-known Kiwi to appear in AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand’s Live More, Fear Less campaign video series, which goes live today on social media. The Live More, Fear Less video series – which began in late 2023 – profiles well-known Kiwis and shares how they have overcome fear, whilst undertaking one of the bungy brand’s experiences.

The video captures Thornton acknowledging her own fear and mustering the courage to undertake AJHBNZ’s SkyWalk attraction – a 192m-high guided activity, around the Auckland Sky Tower.

Thornton, a renowned mental health activist, says she leans on her inner strength during times of hardship.

“When I was battling my mental illness, I just wanted to run,” she says in the video clip. “That was my instinct, to escape and run from whatever I was afraid of, but I had to give myself credit – we all have to give ourselves credit – you are stronger than you think.”

The 29-year-old is an award-winning director, co-founder of the suicide prevention organisation Voices of Hope, and received the Commonwealth Points of Light award from the late Queen Elizabeth II for her advocacy work.

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AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand co-founder Henry van Asch says Thornton truly embodies what it means to ‘live more, fear less'.

“We are in awe of the work Jazz is doing to proactively support young people in New Zealand,” he says. “She fearlessly represents the hope of what is possible – despite unimaginable situations – and reflects true resilience.

“This ability to overcome personal challenges and create empowering opportunities is something we’re deeply passionate about at AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand. It is our reason for existence,” van Asch adds.

Half of AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand’s annual guests are aged 24 years and under.

The pioneering tourism company actively supports youth initiatives such as Blue Light, YouthTown, Wakatipu Youth Trust and JumpStart – which offers Wakatipu High School leavers the opportunity to mark the milestone of completing year 13, and ‘leaping to the future’ with a free Kawarau Bridge Bungy experience.

The Fear Less brand campaign features anecdotes from well-known Kiwis such as Jazz Thornton, Uncle Tics and Alien Weaponry band members, recounting times of overcoming adversity.

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