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Students are pushing outside their comfort zones!

Kowhai Intermediate students are pushing outside their comfort zones!

Kowhai Intermediate School is once again engaging in an innovative youth development programme, the William Pike Challenge Award, which inspires youth to step outside of their comfort zone and develop crucial 21st century skills. Over the past 4 years, the William Pike Challenge Award (WPCA) has positively impacted on more than 200 students, their families and the wider school community.

Kiwi explorer, inspirational speaker, and founder of the WPCA, William Pike, is excited to share his remarkable tale of survival, wild stories and his inspirational message to a welcoming Kowhai Intermediate School audience on Tuesday 25th June, at 7pm. Pike insightfully shares the necessity of our Kiwi youth to start stepping outside of their comfort zone in order to survive and thrive in today’s ever-changing environment.

Pike strongly believes that “every single one of us, but particularly our youth, are stepping into a rapidly and dramatically changing world, like nothing we’ve ever seen before. We, and particularly they, will be challenged by unexpected changes and obstacles in life that we probably can’t yet imagine. When big challenge and change come from out of the blue, succeeding or failing comes down to just one thing: whether you’re already used to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone – or whether you aren’t.”

By participating in the WPCA, Kowhai Intermediate School students are given exciting opportunities to step outside of their comfort zone and develop and strengthen vital life skills. Skills like resilience, confidence, connectedness, critical thinking, problem solving and leadership amongst peers and the wider community,

Kowhai Intermediate School are part of a community of over 3,000 other WPCA students from 99 schools around New Zealand who are growing confident, capable and adaptable youth. In 2019, these 3,000 young people will be participating in 5 Outdoor Activities, 20 hours of Community Service and personally develop a new Passion Project in order to gain the award. Student and teacher feedback shows that students are becoming more resilient, capable and connected as a result of participating in the WPCA.

“We’re excited to continue offering the WPCA at Kowhai Intermediate School. The 21 century skills the students are gaining by being involved in the WPCA such as confidence, leadership, resilience, and self-esteem all extend into the classroom and their lives. To have William join us to inspire our young people and community to step outside their comfort zone and to learn how pushing the boundaries can help to achieve our personal best is the icing on the cake.” says Barbara Cloonan, Kowhai Intermediate’s Assistant Principal. “It’s vital our young people develop and grow resilience and the message about William’s incredible story of survival and resilience will inspire all of us” adds Barbara.

“I’m really excited about the impact that Kowhai Intermediate School students are having on their community as well as their own personal development by taking part in the WPCA. It is great to see the emergence of leadership, wellbeing and positive outcomes for all.” says Pike. “We’re in a point in time where our world is fast-paced and changing. What works today, won’t work tomorrow. I believe our young people need to be equipped with the life skills and life experiences to prepare them for whatever life throws at them” adds Pike.

The WPCA provides schools with year 7-9 students and community groups with support, resources, and inspiration to facilitate the programme. Students receive ongoing inspiration and education during the year-long programme and a certificate on completion.

The WPCA provides youth, their families and the wider community a tool which not only strengthens the communities they live in but empowers youth to explore new places, relationships, and skills. William believes developing our future generation is of critical and he is the driving force behind the William Pike Challenge Award (WPCA). Since 2013, the programme has made a positive impact on almost 10, 000 young people.


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