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Career Adventure In Tauranga

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CAREER ADVENTURE IN TAURANGA

Four blind and sight-impaired teenagers from Tauranga (and two from Auckland) will be spending time this week learning how to find a job in the 'real world' by taking part in a "career adventure" being held at Papamoa Christian Camp from 13 to 15 September.

The adventure was organised through the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind's Peer Support Project and funded by the Lidian Valder Trust.

It is the fourth time this year the Foundation has run a career adventure and all of them aim to equip the teenagers with some of the skills they will need to develop careers after they complete their secondary school education.

"This course [like a previous one held in Taupo] is an excellent way of getting vital information across to our secondary school students," says National Peer Support Co-ordinator, Peter Madden.

"We've discovered, from trial and error, that we reach more students if we combine the mental adventure of planning and thinking about the future with the real adventure of getting out there and doing something that stretches the students physically as well."

With this balance in mind, the three-day course includes workshop sessions with career counsellors as well as rock climbing, jet boating and "shopping".

"Many blind and sight-impaired teenagers find thinking about future work and tertiary study options overwhelming," says Mr Madden.

"Their self-confidence is not always very high and often they are so focused on managing in the present they do not think about planning for the future.

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"But once they realise that they are capable of much more than they give themselves credit for - a whole world of opportunity opens up for them.

"Then we start to hear about their dreams and we can work with them to explore the best ways of supporting them to reach those goals."

"The feedback we've had from teenagers who have attended previous career adventures is that it has helped them to focus on what they really want to do with their lives and motivated them into actually getting out there and doing something about it."

A fifth "career adventure" course is planned for blind and sight- impaired students from Wellington, Palmerston North and New Plymouth later in the year.

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