It has been great developing a relationship with Takapuna Grammar School. It has been equally wonderful having the opportunity to work with the impressive and effervescent Ross McCook from Heart for Youth. Shore to Thrive brought the school and H4Y together and have supported this connection. Heart for Youth Mentoring empowers young people. Ross and the crew of trained volunteer support mentors are a passionate bunch whose mission is to accept, connect, equip and encourage youth & young adults. Today they delivered their youth empowerment and mentoring course to over 100 Year 12 students from Takapuna Grammar School.
Training over 100 students at once was a first for them but they were up for the challenge! As a bystander it was a moving and inspirational experience. Ross at one point asked the students whether they had some reflections on a mentoring experience that they had experienced. Some of the responses that were fed back had me choking up. Just beautiful. They felt comfortable sharing such personal and intimate experiences because of that most positive aroha and awhi that Ross and his team exude.
Today’s workshop will have a big impact on the school’s peer support programme. Next year’s incoming year 9 pupils will get a souped up level of support from their newly inspired year 13 mentors. Mary Pottinger, the Head of Student Services, gave some great feedback, “The day was sensational! It was action packed from start to finish, mostly due to Ross’s energy and enthusiasm. He was like an Everready battery as he fired through all the material, interspersed with stories which captivated the students, and in the next moment, he had them sitting quietly reflecting on their own journey and writing notes”.
Quote of the day
Feedback from one of the participating young people; “If everyone was a mentor the world would be a better place” I think they got it!
A wee video from the day can be found here.