Teenagers these days sometimes get a bad rap. I can assure you there are many, many great teenagers living, learning and contributing in the Helensville Community. At Kaipara College we have a fabulous team of student leaders, who very ably lead their peers in many aspects of school life and who serve as great role models both within and outside the school. The impact of the positive work of our great team of student leaders is beginning to be felt in and beyond the school. Some student leaders (the head and deputy head students) accompanied me to talk to the Helensville branch of U3A (University for the 3rd Age). The branch wanted to learn about the school and what young people were like these days. I felt very proud of the exemplary behaviour of the student leaders and even more so of the way they shared their hopes, aspirations, interests, and sources of inspiration with the audience. They were also able to answer questions with intelligence, flair and empathy. The U3A members felt our young people were kind and thoughtful and they had renewed their faith in a hopeful future for New Zealand.
The team of student leaders are working on a number of initiatives at school. They successfully raised money through a non-uniform day which is being split up and donated to each of our cyclone affected Muriwai families.
They also lead their own student assemblies where they address issues of interest that are relevant to our students and also issues of national and global importance. Other initiatives our student leaders have been working on include discussing how they can take action to help our students feel safe at school and working on getting our Student Council up and running in Term 2, to afford other students leadership opportunities in the school. Our peer support programme continues with our Year 13 Peer Support
Leaders working with our Year 9 students. The leaders have attended a two day training camp and work with the Year 9 students on a weekly basis leading wh.naungatanga activities, helping students starting at the College to build self-confidence and resilience, and developing their own leadership qualities in the process.
One of my favourite quotes that I often share is about teenagers:
“I am a better person for being around teenagers, not because they test me but because they have this perfect balance of unapologetic and fiery strength, and unfiltered raw vulnerability. They are beautiful examples of aliveness. We should all strive for a little more of that”
Dr Amy Fast
Next time you come across a teenager in the community, stop for a chat. You may be pleasantly surprised!