26 January 2012
PM recognises young achievers at special event
Prime Minister John Key today met with the 100 participants in this year's Prime Minister's Youth Programme – young people who have overcome adversity and made a real effort to turn their lives around.
The group of 14- to 17-year-olds from South and West Auckland were chosen to take part in the week-long programme in recognition of making positive, life-changing choices.
Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett also attended the celebration dinner at the Ellerslie Events Centre with the Prime Minister, along with business leaders, celebrities and leaders from the community.
"Every year I am really impressed by the young people I've met and the inspirational stories I've heard through this programme," says Mr Key.
"These young people have overcome numerous challenges and made a concerted effort to change their behaviour and lifestyles. They've decided to take responsibility for their futures."
The participants were nominated by community leaders, including school teachers and youth aid officers, after improving academic performance, or by moving away from anti-social behaviour such as truancy or low-level offending.
This is the third year of the programme, which sees the participants engaging in a number of activities, including the opportunity to learn from high achieving New Zealanders such as the Warriors and designer Trelise Cooper.
Participants in this year's programme will benefit from follow-up mentoring for up to three months after it finishes this week.