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$5000 Personal Development Award Applications Now Open

$5000 Personal Development Award Applications Now Open
By YHA New Zealand

New Zealand: Applications for YHA New Zealand’s $5000 Cora Wilding Award are now open. The award provides a grant of up to $5,000 toward the cost of participation in a personal development training course or project that will benefit both the recipient and their community. Applications are open until 1 July 2018.

The award reinforces YHA New Zealand’s founding mission to motivate and inspire young people to pursue personal development by exploring New Zealand and the outdoors. It has been presented annually for over twenty years, demonstrating YHA’s long-standing commitment to being an active member of its community.

2017 saw two winners share the $5000 grant. Gemma Black participated in Outward Bound as part of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, while Joanna Tao received funds to represent Aotearoa at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Past awards have been granted for attending the Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN), a Youth Development Voyage on the Spirit of New Zealand, first aid courses, and more.

Gemma Black reported back on her experience on Outward Bound’s 21-day “Mind, Body, Soul” course. She reflected on the positive changes the course has had in her life, in both her mind-set and day-to-day habits.

“I learnt a great deal about myself, and the other members of my watch (my group of 12 other students). I learnt how crucial teamwork is, and that to get a job done, everybody in the team must be a leader in their own way.”

“I can transfer the skills and lessons I had the privilege of learning to make a difference in the community around me,” says Gemma. “I hope to make a positive difference in my school this year as a prefect and house captain, and continue to do so throughout the rest of my life.”

With an emphasis on serving the community, the Awards Committee members evaluate applications on three factors: how the course will help the applicant make a difference in their community; how well the application aligns with YHA New Zealand’s charitable aims and objects; and if the applicant could achieve their goal without this funding.

YHA New Zealand’s Corporate Services Manager, Maureen McCloy, says, “This award is a part of YHA’s heritage and, over the years, we’ve witnessed these grants make a real difference in the lives of the awardees. We’re delighted to play a part in their personal development and we look forward to presenting the Cora Wilding Memorial Award again this year.”

The award was established to perpetuate the memory of Cora Wilding who founded YHA New Zealand in 1932. The award is granted to a maximum of two individuals in any year.
Read more about the award and how to apply:

About YHA New Zealand
The Youth Hostels Association of New Zealand Inc, (YHA New Zealand) is a not-for-profit association that was established in 1932 in Canterbury. With a network of over 35 hostels around the country, YHA New Zealand provides high quality budget accommodation to New Zealanders and international travellers. YHA New Zealand is a committed advocate of sustainable practices. For more information please visit:

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