Reaching goals and finding pathways with the Youthies

Summer Ratima (left) and Lilly O’Brien (right) are rollin’ and succeeding thanks to the support of their Youth Navigator Owen Eagle.
June 28, 2019

Reaching goals and finding pathways with the Youthies

FIGURING out what to aim for, especially if you’re no longer participating in education, and determining what success looks like for you, can be a challenge. Owen Eagle and the other Te Kupenga Hauora - Ahuriri Youth Navigators coach and assist 16-17-year olds that are NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training) with a view to helping them find pathways into either or even both those areas. The Youthies team, work with rangatahi to set goals, arrange meetings with potential education providers, help them prepare for employment, access drivers licencing and since they are mobile, assist in getting their clients to appointments.

Summer Ratima (17) had been excluded from school but has secured NCEA levels 2 - 4 through Workforce Development. The oldest in her family, they are proud of her achievements. She’s also working part-time and now has the security of a driver’s licence. Making getting to and from work much less of a barrier. She’s also on a mission to stop smoking. “Owen has helped a lot. I’ve cut down heaps. I’m achieving my goals. I’m saving now for my own car,” she says. Summer is hoping to work in hospitality long-term, one day owning her own bar.

Lilly O’Brien’s (17) aspirations lie in the skating and fashion arenas where she already works part-time. The gutsy 17-year-old already has her own apparel and merchandise label “Project Anonymous Co.” with an Australia-based business partner. They sell their clothing and stickers at skate parks and events. When Lily left school, she thought “there goes my career,” but is now looking at getting back into education to ensure a brighter future. Like Summer, Lilly is rapt to have her license and appreciates the support Owen has been able to provide. “I’d definitely recommend the Youthies to others.”

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