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A star is rising

23 November 2021

Maria* is a lively 18-year-old who has come leaps and bounds over the last two years and her star is rising!

Thanks to the help of our Youth Service, Maria has been supported and encouraged to build a future where she feels proud of her accomplishments.

Two years ago Maria left school without any qualifications. She had lost her father and one of her brothers and her mother was a victim of drug abuse. It’s fair to say that her home life was far from ideal and her prospects didn’t look great.

Enter Youth Service and Youth Coach, Stacy*, whose training and skills were going to make a massive difference to Maria’s life.

Stacy explains, “Maria was dealing with some pretty big problems but I knew she had enormous potential and she just needed someone to help guide her and give her a sense of identity and pride.”

After Maria left school she went to college and has since completed NCEA Levels 1 and 2. To give her a sense of independence and something to work towards, Stacy encouraged Maria to sign up for the Limited Service Volunteer programme (LSV) with the NZ Defence Force.

LSV is funded by Work and Income and is free for young people to attend. It’s an intensive six-week residential programme that helps rangatahi develop life skills and job skills.

“Maria thrived at LSV and developed good relationships with her mentors who were instilling in her a strong sense of discipline through physical and cultural training. Her graduation was phenomenal and she is now flourishing.”

Maria has achieved big things over the last two years. She’s living independently and is now an apprentice chef and loving the challenge.

“Maria is a highly valued member of the restaurant team. Her work ethic is exemplary and she’s loving the environment.”

Stacy has been instrumental in helping Maria over the last two years. “We’ve gone for walks together to talk about issues and, together, we’ve celebrated Maria’s wins. Her star is definitely shining!”

*Names and photos have been changed to protect privacy.

Will you help?

People like Maria need our help and we need your help to provide services for young people who are struggling. Will you consider giving a gift to help others like Maria?

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