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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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Round the Bays
Standing tall and proud
Standing tall: Leader of the Year award winners, from left: Teisa Semisi, 13, Aurora Amani, 14, and Linda Su'a, 14, say the
StandTall programme has opened doors and given them new confidence in their abilities.
Photo: ANNA LOREN
By ANNA LOREN
Go to aucklandharbour
news.co.nz and click on Latest
Edition to see a video about the
AURORA Amani would probably
still be that shy girl in the corner if
it wasn t for the StandTall pro-
She was introduced to the initiat-
ive in year 7 as a quiet, introverted
Just two years later she was
named its Leader of the Year for
2011 and graduated as dux from
Manurewa s Randwick Park School.
It s a transformation the now
14-year-old credits largely to Stand-
I came into the programme as a
shy girl who kept to herself but
StandTall helped me to come out of
my comfort zone and be more confi-
dent, she says.
If I hadn t done the programme
I d probably not be social and still
keep to myself.
Aurora is one of more than 140
young people from seven South
Auckland schools who have benefited
from the StandTall programme since
it began in 2009.
And registered runners in this
year s Ports of Auckland Round the
Bays fun run and walk will be help-
ing it spread its message to even
more young people.
The Choice Foundation, which
delivers the programme, is one of six
charities that will benefit from
proceeds raised at the annual event.
The foundation is set to get
$20,000 which will help take the
initiative to some of the 15 schools on
its waiting list.
That s great news for general man-
ager Carl Sunderland. He says the
programme makes a massive dif-
ference to young people s confidence
in their abilities. We teach them
over the two years so they know
what opportunities are out there but
the thing they get from the pro-
gramme is they realise that these
opportunities are for them and they
can do it, Mr Sunderland says.
These are things that were pie in
the sky before but now these are
things that are for them too.
StandTall targets intermediate-
age children and aims to increase
their opportunities and grow their
potential. It includes workshops,
community projects and career
expos, as well as trips to tertiary
institutions and a five-night camp.
The programme is unique in that
it is the only one for good kids at
low-decile schools, rewarding young
people who have the right attitude
and the motivation to succeed, Mr
The 2012 Leader of the Year, Teisa
Semisi, says StandTall helped her
develop new skills and choose a
future career path in public speak-
Like Aurora, the 13-year-old began
the programme lacking the confi-
dence to speak in front of a crowd.
Two years later she beat hundreds
of contestants from around the
region to win the Auckland Primary
Principals Association speech compe-
tition. I don t think I d have the
knowledge of what I want to be and
what can help me without the
programme, she says.
And 2010 StandTall Leader of the
Year Linda Su a says the programme
was a key factor in her winning Rob-
ertson Road School s literacy award.
We had to do a lot of journal work
and it taught me to work hard and
put all of my effort into it, she says.
$1.5 MILLION DONATION HELPS CHILDREN
Ports of Auckland Round the Bays is co-owned by the
Auckland Joggers Club and Fairfax Media, owner of
the Auckland City Harbour News and its parent
company Suburban Newspapers.
Proceeds from registrations totalling $1.5 million
have been donated to various children's charities
over the past decade. This year's event starts at
9.30am on March 10.
Entry costs $10 for children 15 years and under
and $15 for adults.
Go to roundthebays. co.nz to register and for
Min Goodwin dresses
the windows of the six
Mercy Hospice shops
and she has plenty of
fans. Check her out in
this week's Daily Grind
under way to mark the
150th anniversary of
the sinking of HMS
Orpheus. Lady Barbara
Harvey is among those
who have a personal
connection to the
tragedy -- P4
Read his story on P5
and go to
news.co.nz and click on
Latest Edition to see
the drummers perform
Pat Booth's column is
online. Go to
news.co.nz and click on
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