If at first you don’t succeed

LIFT Retail Assistant Beyonce Shelford credits the influence of Te Kupenga Hauora - Ahuriri’s Youth Navigator Owen Eagle with helping her get on the path to success.
December 18, 2020

KEEP GOING: Beyonce’s Story

SOMETIMES, making real change means you’ve got to try more than once. Beyonce Shelford (19) has worked with Te Kupenga Hauora - Ahuriri for more than two years and during that time been supported by three different Youth Navigators. Owen Eagle is currently working alongside Beyonce and is incredibly proud of the progress she’s made, especially her tenacity to keep at it when anxieties and obstacles were thrown her way.

Beyonce is a retail assistant at LIFT Social Enterprise’s retail store. It was an opportunity that she really had to work for. The journey saw her struggle to make interviews, handle strained whānau and peer relationships and overcome her apprehensions to get the role. She’s been there six months now and has never looked back. “It's like a new fam (family) here,” she says.

She’s achieved a number of milestones throughout the last six months. Becoming drug free, completing LIFT’s Bounce Life- Skills course and getting her Learner’s Licence have been stand out moments on her journey. She is adamant that Owen’s influence has been paramount in her successes. “Other youth ask me about how I got my job and I always tell them it was through Owen. He pushed me in the right way. Instead of saying it was OK if I didn’t want to try something he would persevere and suggest I try it anyway. He didn’t take no for an answer.”

Amongst talking to customers and keeping the shop looking ship shape Beyonce makes decorated rākau that are sold through the store. She has also set new goals to achieve, choosing to enrol in beauty therapy at a tertiary level. She’s trying a fresh start somewhere else to ensure her environment supports her intentions to succeed. “I love my friends and family but I need to make sure I’m not pulled down and do what is right for me.” Owen adds, “she’s got so many challenges to overcome but she’s in the right mindset now to tackle them head on.”

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